Date: 14th June 2011 at 11:05pm
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Whilst the end of the season marks the beginning of transfer ‘silly season’ it is also the time for end of season reports for both team and individuals.

We know the season was a good one despite the blemish of our away form in the league and the Champions League final. Amongst others we have made up our minds in regards to the likes of Hernandez and Smalling, declaring their debut seasons undoubted successes, we agree that Patrice Evra can do better next term and have lauded captain Nemanja Vidic for a monstrous season long effort one.

Yet one player appears to be slipping under the radar in regards to assessment.

As Bebe was announced to be going on loan to Turkish side Besiktas, I can’t have been the only person to have wondered what about Gabriel Obertan?

You may think this was an odd thought to have at that time but you will be aware that the two (unfortunately) have been lumped together as if they are one entity so it isn’t that odd at all.

I have been looking through the site at our pieces on Obertan and there have been a few; has he turned a corner, would a change of position do him good, what now for the French midfielder, the writing is on the wall etc

But for all the analysis we’ve done we are no closer to solving the enigma that is Obertan.

How many times have we questioned his consistency, decision making and mental strength? Yet, we come no closer to solution.

When we signed Obertan in the summer of 2009 Sir Alex remarked,

‘We are delighted to get him now as he is an exciting prospect. We like to get young players and develop them, and we will see that in Gabriel over the next two years.’

This summer marks two years and I don’t think I’d be in the minority if I said he hasn’t shown enough in the two year spell to suggest Old Trafford is the right place for him.

There will obviously be those that suggest that he hasn’t been given enough time or opportunities to showcase his abilities, this season he didn’t play a first team game after February’s closely contested FA Cup tie with Crawley and in his 2 year spell he has made just 28 appearances scoring 1 goal. As we have said previously there have been glimpses of his talent, his cameo appearance against Aston Villa in November garnered praise as he helped change the game in United’s favour earning a valuable point with a late comeback, and even saw him start (and complete) the next game.

But good appearances are becoming rare and even against limited opposition like against Crawley and in the reserves where he should be shining he isn’t standing out. The state of the game is changing, stars are getting younger and younger so at the age of 22 the fact Obertan isn’t showing enough to suggest that he will make it is worrying.

There are players behind him that are pushing for his position and with additions being made to the squad he faces the problem of falling further down the pecking order than he already is.

Like Bebe, Obertan too may benefit from a loan out to a club where he would play a higher standard of football than he does in our reserves on a consistant basis. It’s well noted that he suffers from a lack of confidence in his own ability, Laurent Blanc alluded to it prior to his move here, so perhaps a full season, starting, at a decent team may bring out some of the ‘swagger’ that French players usually play with and that we have seen in glimpses from him.

At a step further it may even be time for him to move on, the argument that he hasn’t shown any progression from his first season at the club works against him and the fact that there could be other promising youngsters behind him in the pecking who could be given the opportunity he has will work against him too.

It is hard to make a case in his defence, in the 2 year period that Sir Alex outlined he simply hasn’t done enough to convince anyone that he should be give a further chance.

The summer is still ahead of us and much could happen before the transfer window closes but with Bebe on his way and Gibson, Brown and O’Shea all seemingly on offer it wouldn’t surprise me if Obertan too was on his way out of Old Trafford in some capacity.

The sad thing is, there will be few to morn the graduate of the Clairefontein academy’s departure.


4 responses to “Is Obertan the next player on his way out of Old Trafford?”

  1. jonathan says:

    Well if we sign Sanchez, you can be sure Obertan’s gone. In all likelyhood, he’ll be gone regardless; but unlike Bebe, he has shown that he has all the right tools so it makes his story sad for differing reasons.

    I think he’d have more success if played as a second striker, or only as a partial winger in a 4-3-3. Of all his skills, crossing doesn’t seem to be apart of it. Funny as it sounds, I think he could possibly thrive at Arsenal given their formation and that it asks little in terms of crossing, but more in technical ability which he has. Moreover, with his speed, strength, and natural ability, he could be a type of breakthrough player they’re missing.

    But without confidence, he unfortunately won’t amount to much whether he stays or moves elsewhere. For his sake, I hope he finds it wherever he lands.

  2. Ayoola alawusa says:

    I think we should give him a years’ loan at a decent club…Then decide after that! I think a loan deal which promises more playing time will be helpful to him!maybe it’s the mental challenges like they say but i think he’s got some potential locked in,i do hope he gets it out with us or without us…

  3. Bobby says:

    Loan him out for the whole season and am sure we could see something different from him. The loan spell should be at an average team where he is going to be the center of attention this would help him develop his confidence with matches day in day out.

  4. Josh says:

    I don’t know if a loan is what is best for him.

    I do like his style of attacking play and taking people on. His speed is his main asset, his ball control is good but at top speed he does get muscled off the ball.

    Sending him to another team would be fine if we only just got him, but hes been here for a while now and i think we would need to find a team suited to his style of play as i think it would be Macheda all over again if he just went anywhere.

    The problem is that we have too many players coming in that won’t need to be loaned out to achieve their potential. Young will be ready from day one and if Sanchez does arrive (Which has been rumoured that we swooped in under city’s noses and got him for a “drop down price” of £27m!!) then he will want first team immediately as well.

    Sadly i think we should let him go and just do what we did with Forlan, say that he’s a great player, just not a great United player.

    Sorry Gabriel