United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Obertan: “My greatest wish is to make an impact here at Manchester United”

Posted by nickogs20 on September 25, 2010

After returning from injury in last week’s reserve game against Aston Villa, United’s French winger Gabriel Obertan has spoken exclusively to United.no about his return to fitness, the chance offered by Antonio Valencia’s long-term absence, his adaptation to English football and learning from a United great.

Thanks to United.no’s Jon Martin Henriksen for allowing us to reproduce the interview, and to Preben Walle for the translation.


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Door opens for Obertan

Gabriel Obertan returned for the reserves against Aston Villa, after suffering an injury during the pre-season
tour of the USA.

– Losing was obviously unfortunate, but for me, this match was all about getting back on the pitch

The 21-year old has just started his second season for Manchester United after his transfer from Bordeaux last summer. “Gabby” was injured when he signed, and therefore he did not get the chance to prove himself during last season’s pre-season.

Good in pre-season

Obertan showed some promise during the US tour, and he scored the match-winning goal when the Philadelphia Union were beaten in July. The ankle injury he sustained during the same tour thus came at a very unfavourable time for the winger.

– It was very frustrating. Pre-season went extremely well, and I got my first goal for the Club. I also got to know my team-mates better over the summer, and I felt I was on the right track. That is how football is – just look at Antonio Valencia this week, for instance. The tide can turn very fast. At the moment, though, I am just glad to be back playing, and my greatest wish is to make an impact here at Manchester United.


Even though Obertan obviously does not want to see any Manchester United players hurt, there is no doubt that Antonio Valencia’s long-term injury can open doors for him.

– It is sad for Antonio, and he will have our full-support while he is injured. However, it is also gives us players in the same position as him a chance to make an impact in the first-team. I hope that this applies for me as well, and I will just have to do the best I can if I am called upon.


In his first games for Manchester United, he experienced that English football is a lot tougher than in his native France.

– Most of all, I have developed my physique, I have also acquired a better understanding of the tactical aspects of the game. Training with players like Giggs, Scholes and the other superstars who are in the squad has also helped me improve on all aspects of my game. I need to keep improving, get even better and get as much first-team experience as possible.

Obviously, Obertan’s aspirations are higher than playing for the Reserves at Moss Lane every single week, but he’s appreciative of the chance to play under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

– He was an amazing striker, and I can learn a lot from what he did, and what he achieved as a player –
among other things his finishing skills and his movement. I listen eagerly to everything he says.

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