Gabriel Obertan insists he is not looking to become a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo even though he is desperate to fill the same right-wing berth for Manchester United.
The France Under-21 international was handed his first Champions League start by Sir Alex Ferguson on Wednesday night and was one of the few United players to emerge with any credit from the 1-0 defeat by Besiktas.
Obertan showed some neat touches at Old Trafford, and was not afraid to try a stepover or two either as he tried to put Besiktas on the back foot.
It was something of a throwback to Ronaldo's early days, even if some of the more outrageous tricks were missing.
Yet the £3million summer arrival from Bordeaux has no wish to be bracketed in the same company as Ronaldo, who went on to become the world's best player in 2008, scoring 42 goals as United won a Champions League and Barclays Premier League double, before moving to Real Madrid last summer for £80million.
“I am not Ronaldo's successor,” stated Obertan firmly.
“For now there is no comparison, I am just trying to be Gabriel Obertan. I have only been here for six months and I cannot do what he did in that time.”
Obertan is showing a pleasing willingness to learn. Towards the end of the first half last night his confidence did appear to suffer as a couple of intended moves broke down.
But as the game wore on, he looked the most likely United player to break Besiktas down and his direct running and ability to commit defenders is something Ferguson's team lacks when Ryan Giggs is not playing or Nani is having one of his frequent inconsistent days.
“I want to do more,” he said. “I have not scored yet and I have not made an assist.
“I have put in some good performances but they have only been short appearances when I came on as a substitute.
“I want to do more than that and I think I could. That is what I am wishing for. If I get another chance, I know I will take it.”
In all probability, Obertan's next opportunity will come against Tottenham on Tuesday as last season's finalists meet for a place in the semi-finals of this year's Carling Cup.
It represents the first opportunity Obertan has to win a trophy since his arrival from France as a relative unknown on these shores. He was forced to wait three months for his United debut as he needed intensive treatment on a long-standing back complaint.
“I am not fully match fit yet,” he revealed. “I worked hard for four months and did weights and running, so I think I will be 100% very soon.”
Sourced from: The Belfast TelegraphReuse content