‘He can run a lot’ – Former Austria coach outlines what Sabitzer will bring to Man Utd | OneFootball

Icon: Football365


·2 February 2023

‘He can run a lot’ – Former Austria coach outlines what Sabitzer will bring to Man Utd

Article image:‘He can run a lot’ – Former Austria coach outlines what Sabitzer will bring to Man Utd

Manchester United have signed a player with “very good technical ability” who is “able to run a lot” in Marcel Sabitzer, says his former coach, Thomas Janeschitz.

Janeschitz was Austria’s assistant coach between November 2011 and January 2018, meaning he was in the role during Euro 2016.

Sabitzer was a very different player back then and was actually utilised as a striker by the Austria boss at the time, Marcel Koller

Article image:‘He can run a lot’ – Former Austria coach outlines what Sabitzer will bring to Man Utd

The 28-year-old was an attack-minded player once upon a time, scoring 27 goals and assisting a further 21 in his final season in his home country.

Used as an attacking midfielder/shadow striker in his first year at RB Leipzig, Sabitzer then became a right-winger under Ralph Hasenhuttl before gradually adapting his game under Ralf Rangnick and then Julian Nagelsmann.

Nagelsmann brought Sabitzer to Bayern Munich for around £12million in August 2021, and then moulded the player into a central midfielder, even playing a game this season at left-back.

With starts hard to come by at the Allianz Arena, Sabitzer completed a deadline day loan move to Manchester United after Erik ten Hag sought a new midfielder following an injury to Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen was signed as someone who was expected to play more as a No. 10 or a No. 8, however, he has effectively slotted into a deeper role this term.

Explaining the Danish playmaker’s role in his side, Ten Hag explained earlier this season: “We put him a little bit deeper on the pitch as he plays in a ‘six’ and an ‘eight’ role where he has lots of freedom.

“We tell him which spaces he has to be in but also he has to adapt to that. I think he can make a game for you.”

And Janeschitz has explained why Sabitzer is the ideal profile to fill the void left by Eriksen.

He told Sky Sports: “I had him very early on before later working together with the national team and at the very start I brought him in from the side. But I think that his best position now is playing behind the forwards, maybe as a No. 8 or a No. 10.

“He has very good technical ability on the ball and he is able to score goals because of his shooting prowess from outside the box. His strengths are still in the offensive game but he has also developed well in his defensive work. He is able to run a lot.

“While best as a No. 8 or No. 10 because he likes to have the ball and play good passes, he is able to play many positions. This is also a strength of his. But wherever he plays, the most important quality he has is the ability to read the game.”

Janeschitz believes Sabitzer has the character to be an instant impact at Old Trafford – which he will need to be given the fact he has only joined on a six-month loan.

“He does not want to lose, which is always a good characteristic, and he is very ambitious,” he added.

“When I first worked with him for the national team we had some older players there but after that he made the step to become a leading player. Along with David Alaba and Marko Arnautovic, he was one of the strong leaders within the team.”

Sabitzer only started 20 of his 54 appearances for Bayern and will be happy to get some more opportunities for United.

“That is why I think this is a good decision for him,” Janeschitz continued. “He had some problems at Bayern and did not play as much as he expected.

“Because of the injuries at Manchester United, he will get the minutes that he wants. I hear the coach likes him so it is good for everybody.

“The pressure is high but I think he is able to take on the challenge.”

View publisher imprint