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Manchester United to give Gabriel Obertan league debut against Blackburn Rovers
Published : 28 Oct 2009 19:53:52
Obertan, 20, made his first senior appearance for Manchester United since his £3 million summer move from Bordeaux during the 2-0 fourth-round victory at Oakwell on Tuesday. With Portuguese winger Nani struggling to prove himself capable of filling the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo and Ji-Sung Park sidelined with a knee injury, Ferguson is set to name Obertan in his squad against Blackburn. Related ArticlesManchester United 'thugs' on rampageMartinez takes aim at Ferguson as Benítez finds a friendGabriel Obertan looks to be everything Nani isn'tBlackburn 5 Peterborough 2Sam Allardyce warns Chelsea over swine fluSport on televisionHaving been troubled by knee and spinal injuries since his arrival in Manchester, Ferguson admitted earlier this month that United have been purposefully cautious with the youngster. Ferguson said: "We've taken our time with Gabriel as we want him at 100 per cent. He's very quick, he can play both sides or through the middle, and he brings a real versatility to us. "At 16 he was one of the outstanding young talents in Europe, but over this last year-and-a-half, he's been playing with a back injury. We expect big things from him. He's a nice boy, he speaks good English and he's had no problems settling in." Danny Welbeck's progress this season could be checked as a result of a knee injury sustained against Barnsley. The 19 year-old scored the opening goal for United before limping out of the game early in the second half and he is now awaiting the results of a scan on the injury, although United do regard the problem as serious. Meanwhile, Wigan manager Roberto Martínez has "categorically denied" that he suggested the Football Association is afraid to punish Sir Alex Ferguson. Martínez was reported to have claimed the FA was almost "apologising" to Ferguson for sanctioning the Scot over his comments that referee Alan Wiley was unfit to do his job. But the Martínez insists he never made any comments about Ferguson and released a statement through the League Managers' Association which read: "Wigan Athletic manager, Roberto Martínez, has today categorically denied making the comments about Sir Alex Ferguson that have been attributed to him in a number of media reports. Martínez has referred the matter to the League Managers' Association." Ferguson has admitted to the FA's charge of improper conduct and has asked for a personal hearing.