There’s not a lot of joy to be had right now, but if a Manc admitting his love and admiration for a Liverpool player isn’t enough to bring a smile to your face, you’re already dead inside.
In an interview with The Express, Manchester United fullback and hopeful Trent Alexander-Arnold England understudy Aaron Wan-Bissaka admitted that he already has the match-worn jersey that he wanted the most, Sadio Mané’s.
“Mane - I got his from last season,” Wan-Bissaka said, when asked which player he wanted to swap kits with the most.
Now, Sadio Mané fandom is completely understandable. Aside from being one of the best attacking footballers on the planet (that small thing), he’s also just a good human being. When he’s not inexplicably saying he’d understand not getting the title this year because of you know, the death and suffering and whatnot, he’s also donating a lot of his personal wealth to schools and hospitals in his native Senegal.
However, I could see how this admission wouldn’t go down well with Manchester United fans. Haven’t they suffered enough, post-Fergie? (No, they haven’t, but still).
When you’re a part of Liverpool or United, the only respect you can reasonably show the other is of the begrudging variety. This was clearly too enthusiastic on Wan-Bissaka’s part.
It’s OK, the England youth international is still young. He’ll learn the rules. I mean, he’s 11 months older than Trent Alexander-Arnold—who already has 9 England caps to his name, including an appearance in the 2018 World Cup—and I can’t imagine Trent saying something like this about a United player. But regardless, he’ll learn.