Sabitzer sees value in versatility
Marcel Sabitzer believes his positional flexibility can be of real benefit to Manchester United when the domestic campaign resumes next month.
The Austria international, who is now preparing for games against Azerbaijan on Friday and Estonia on Monday, scored his first goal since joining the Reds on loan from Bayern Munich when he flicked home Luke Shaw's cross to give us the lead in last weekend's Emirates FA Cup quarter-final win over Fulham.
After adapting well to life in England, the midfielder believes the fact that he can operate in several different positions is important in the modern game, particularly when managers like Erik ten Hag are so fluid with their tactical approaches, changing formations during games.
“In modern football, there are a lot of tactical things going around,” Sabitzer told Inside United, the official club magazine. "You switch during a game so you have to be versatile. I think I am and I think it helps me a lot.
“The manager does a lot of work. He is a hard worker, very structured and he’s helping us a lot with his game-plans, with training. He’s a very good coach, tactical, and, as a guy too, we are enjoying the fact that he is our manager and are looking forward to working together and bringing trophies to Man United.”
The 29-year-old believes his adaptability stems from his ability to play different roles when he was a youngster, starting out in his career.
“I was everywhere!” he admitted. “I was a striker, I was as a winger, a no.10, midfield. So, yeah, I think I’m versatile. I think that I can help the team a lot so I’m very happy with my role.”
One of the key ingredients to any successful side is the chemistry between the players and Sabitzer feels this is something he can enjoy with his team-mates, no matter who turns out in midfield alongside him.
Casemiro's suspension means Marcel will be denied more game-time with the Brazil international but there will be a determination to get the job done in his absence, starting in the tough away fixture at Newcastle United.
“We have a lot of quality in the squad,” he added. ”As well, in the midfield especially. Very good players, experienced players and I think we have a good relationship on the pitch and off the pitch. It helps us a lot and I’m enjoying playing with the guys.
“I felt it [a bond] from the very first moment on, you know, the spirit in the dressing room and the connection between the players. It’s something special. So it was very easy for me to come in and have relationships with the guys. As I said, I enjoy being in this group and, as I said, we are ready to go.”
So what can we expect in the remainder of the season from the Bayern Munich loanee? How about more goals and trophies?
“I've worked on it [my shooting[, very hard and very often,” he revealed in the magazine interview. “After training and during the sessions. I love the shooting. I want to bring it to Man United so I will show it in the games. Hopefully, I’m going to score some goals, of course.”
And when it comes to silverware to follow up the Carabao Cup, the Reds are safely through to the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup and last eight of the Europa League, so there is all to play for.
“I know what I want in my career," he stated. "I want to win trophies and have an impact at big clubs.”
To read the full interview with Marcel Sabitzer, pick up April's issue of Inside United. It's available in stores now and can also be ordered online via manutd.com/magazine.