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Aaron Wan-Bissaka excited for reunion with former teammate against Galatasaray

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Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka credits training battles with former Crystal Palace teammate Wilfried Zaha with making him the player he is, with the pair set to reunite this week when the Red Devils face Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Zaha, who was famously Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing before retirement in 2013, made the switch to Turkish football when his Palace contract ran out at the end of last season.

There is every chance that Wan-Bissaka, back from injury and a starter on matchday four against Copenhagen, lines up directly against his friend and former colleague in Istanbul.

"We're still in contact. When I saw the [group stage] draw, I thought about it," Wan-Bissaka told ManUtd.com. "I'm happy for him to go out there [to Turkey] and he's playing well for them now

"I think he's enjoying it. He'll just be looking forward to the competition in that different league and also in the Champions League.

"Even from when I was training with him at Palace, I respected him a lot. That was the battle we had. That helped me as a player as well. You just never know with him, on what day, and you have just got to be prepared. Obviously, you just play your own Game and, all that comes, you deal with it then."

Wan-Bissaka was sidelined with a hamstring problem during the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in October when Zaha scored in a shock 3-2 Galatasaray win.


Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha scored for Galatasaray against Man Utd last month / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

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But the pair clashed last season at Selhurst Park when Palace almost snatched a late victory over the Red Devils. With the score tied at 1-1 in the closing stages, Zaha was put through on goal and looked certain to win the Game until Wan-Bissaka came steaming back and cleanly hooked a leg on the ball.

Zaha's post-match response went viral, clearly still full of respect for his ex-teammate.

"Any other player...[I would have got away]," he told Sky Sports. "As I was running through, I had a look back and thought, 'Oh my God, it's Aaron'. He's the only one that can do that scoop tackle."

Away from club Football, Wan-Bissaka is currently weighing up his international future. The Croydon-born 25-year-old has never played for England at senior level, bizarrely making him the most expensive uncapped player in world Football, but is eligible to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo through his family background and has been invited to switch allegiance.

Should he go through with it and get clearance to play for DR Congo before January, it could see Wan-Bissaka called up for the Africa Cup of Nations early next year, which would involve missing several United Games. He has previously represented the country once at Under-20 level.


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