Tounkara: I was struck by good feelings straight away

Wednesday 14 September 2022 09:00

Manchester United Women summer signing Aissatou Tounkara says she didn’t have to think twice about joining the Reds after learning of the club’s interest in her.

The French international defender completed her move from Atletico Madrid in August and could make her debut in our upcoming WSL opener against Reading on Saturday. 

Ahead of that match, the centre-back has given an insight into the move to United, discussions with head coach Marc Skinner, what our supporters can expect from her and more, in her first United interview.

You can watch and read the conversation with our newest recruit in full below...
Tounkara's first interview as a Red Video

Tounkara's first interview as a Red

Summer signing Aissatou Tounkara discusses joining United Women, WSL ambitions and more in her first Reds interview...

Aissatou, welcome. How does it feel to sit here as a Manchester United player?
“First of all, thank you for the welcome. It is an honour for me to start a new adventure with this great club.”

When did you first learn about the club’s interest in you and how did it all come together?
“When I learned that Manchester United were interested in me, I was really happy, [it is] a new adventure with this great club. I had always wanted to play in England, so, yes, I’m really pleased that they were interested in me. I had a conversation with the manager and straight away I was struck by good feelings for the project at hand and I liked the idea straight away, so I didn’t have to think twice, and I was interested immediately.”
What was the biggest thing that attracted you to Manchester United and what about the club’s vision was it that stood out for you the most?
“Firstly, in England, United is a really massive club. So, as I said, as soon as the manager had explained the project to me, I could see that United is an ambitious club and a club sharply focused on the women’s game. So, I was happy about that from the outset, and I was keen to take on this new challenge.”

You’re one of many new signings at the club this summer, what did Marc tell you about his plans for this season and the ambitions for the team so far?
“It’s true that United are very focused on the women’s team and have brought in a lot of new players for this season. I think that shows their commitment to achieving their goals. Also, I believe we finished fourth last season, in terms of qualification for the Champions League, so the objective for this season is clearly to do better.”

We want to know more about you as a player – what can the United fans expect to see from you in a red shirt?
“I think the fans can look forward to watching a fairly ferocious defender, strong in the tackles and also in the air.”

You’re joining us with a wealth of experience, [playing in the] Champions League, World Cup and, most recently, the European Championships. How is your experience going to help our squad and the younger players that we have as well? How do you think you will influence them?
“I’ll be bringing that experience to help the team and, at the same time, remaining true to myself, keeping my calm presence on the pitch, my serenity in defence. That’s something to build on, along with the great deal of experience among my United team-mates too. So, we go on together, contributing to the team as a whole.”

As a club, we have got a very loyal and dedicated fanbase, have you got a message for the fans ahead of the start of the new season?
“I’m looking forward to meeting the supporters as soon as possible, and I’ll be giving my all to bring them happiness. All those who come to support us can be sure we’ll give everything we can for them on the pitch.”

Aissatou could make her United debut in our WSL opener against Reading at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday – a limited number of tickets remain from just £3, and you can secure yours here.