Crystal Palace academy coach Shaun Derry believes that Aaron Wan-Bissaka benefited from spending four days with Cambridge United as it opened his eyes to professional football in the lower leagues.
Wan-Bissaka enjoyed a miraculous rise to prominence after making his Crystal Palace debut against Spurs in February 2018, cementing himself as a first-team regular at Selhurst Park before joining Manchester United in a £45m deal in June.
The 21-year-olds incredible journey to the top could have continued this week after he was called into Gareth Southgates England squad for the first time, only to be forced to withdraw due to a back complaint.
Prior to his emergence at Palace, Wan-Bissaka almost made a loan move to League Two club Cambridge United and Derry, who managed the club at the time, believes that drove the defender on to prove himself in the Premier League.
Aaron came to Cambridge, the [transfer] window was shut so we couldnt sign anyone but we spoke about him coming out of this environment [Crystal Palace] and into a League Two environment, Derry said.
We took him to Cambridge, he was a right-winger at this time, we were looking for one and he spent four days with us. He was late!
We had no food after training because we just didnt have any food at the training ground, we had no gym – one spin bike with a peddle hanging off was all we had – the grass was horrendous.
I remember thinking that the only value he will get from the four days experience is what it will look like where he doesnt [want to be]: I dont want to go back there!
He came back and went straight through the roof. That added value, going to see different experiences.