United fans are good at recognising quality, and in Gabriel Obertan they see plenty of potential and promise. Speaking to ManUtd.com for the first time since joining from Bordeaux, the French winger discusses his love for the English game, reveals how he's settled at OT, and outlines his plans to become a first-team regular...
It must have been frustrating getting your big move then having to sit on the sidelines. Are you pleased to finally be playing now?
After four months of just waiting and resting, I’ve been really looking forward to starting my career as a Manchester United player. I wanted to feel part of the squad, part of the group, and be involved in the games. So I’m feeling really good right now.
Saying that, did the time out help you to settle in England?
I think there were definitely some positives to it, and even though I was frustrated at not playing I tried to look at it in a positive way. In my disappointment, there were good things I could take from it. I got to know everybody at the club, I could begin to understand how things work here and get settled in England.
What are your early impressions of the club?
Manchester United has made a huge impression on me already. I knew it was a big club, of course. Bordeaux is a big club in France, but you come here and it is totally different. This is a world class club and it’s a totally different organisation. The quality of the players is different as well. Here there are only international players. Everything is quicker and the quality of the football is unbelievable.
Did you see your move to United coming or was it a surprise?
I knew United were interested because Jim Ryan (head of youth development) came to watch me play four years ago. I knew there was interest there but I didn’t expect the move to happen so early in my career. But I felt ready for it, I knew I was ready for the challenge and the change in my life. It was like a new beginning for me and I am just glad to be here and have the opportunity to play for this great club.
What are the main footballing differences between England and France?
The quality at United is higher than I experienced in France. Also the amount of contact, there are a lot more physical challenges than in France, and the speed of the game – it’s so fast. It's much slower in France, where you have time