premier league news

Obertan finally makes his Manchester United bow

October 13, 2009

Manchester United new-boy Gabriel Obertan finally got to make his long-awaited appearance in Red Devils colours at Hyde on Monday night.

Along with Brazilian full-back Rafael Da Silva, Obertan completed the first 45 minutes of a 3-0 Manchester Senior Cup win over Oldham.

It marks the end of a frustrating start to life at Old Trafford for the former France Under-21 star, who was snapped up from Bordeaux in the summer by Sir Alex Ferguson.

An outstanding prospect as a teenager, Obertan's career has stalled after a succession of injuries in recent times and almost as soon as Obertan had completed his £3 million move to the Old Trafford club, Ferguson revealed he would be sidelined for a matter of months after developing spinal problems.

However, Bordeaux coach and former United defender Laurent Blanc still feels Obertan can enjoy a successful career and Sir Alex Ferguson no doubt received news this evening with a measure of hope as he continues his short break in New York.

Both Obertan and Rafael, who was forced to have shoulder surgery in the summer, will realistically be looking towards the Carling Cup trip to Barnsley on October 27 to make their first senior appearances of the season.

Ferguson will also be kept informed of Wayne Rooney's fitness after the England striker picked up a calf injury during his own superb performance in the Ukraine on Saturday.

In the manager's absence, Rooney will be monitored by United's medical staff, with Ferguson expected to receive a more detailed update on the forward's fitness when he gets back to Manchester on Thursday.

That is 24 hours before he must contact the FA to offer his observations for the widely-publicised attack on referee Alan Wiley, which triggered Saturday's surprise apology.