Following the return of Premier League football, former Manchester United striker Louis Saha spoke exclusively with Compare.bet. The former French international, who also played for Fulham, Everton and Spurs, spoke about Pogba’s best position, Martial’s future in the French squad and United’s need for a prolific striker. Saha also shared his admiration for England’s most exciting young talents, naming Jadon Sancho as Europe’s most exciting talent and deeming the ability of Marcus Rashford as level with PSG star Kylian Mbappé.
- “He’s [Sancho] now grown into the most exciting talent in Europe”
- Saha on Henderson: “maybe it’s healthy for De Gea to think about competition”
- Rashford “same level” ability-wise as Mbappé
- United need a “Fabinho-like” player
- On Aubameyang: “I’d like him to join United”
- Pogba “at his best from the number 8 position”
- ‘Ndombele has the quality to dominate the Premier League’
DB: It was great to see the Premier League return at last. These broadcasts have a very different feel to them without the fans in attendance. Sky Sports gave viewers the option of artificial crowd noise to make up for the lack of atmosphere, did you give it a go?
LS: No I didn’t. I found it really difficult to see without the fans. I don’t think anything can come close to that atmosphere, it’s unique. You can see how the presence of fans has an impact on the game. With fans, for example, you may see that the intensity steps up especially in the last minutes of the game – there’s tension because the fans are behind you. It’s like playing a different game. Hopefully, this situation is only momentary, but I think you can see fans are hugely important and they haven’t got the recognition they deserve.
DB: We saw Man United come back from behind to salvage a point vs. Spurs. What did you think of their performance?
LS: I think they deserved to win. When you look at Tottenham playing at home, they came to defend, they were compact. It felt like United have recovered some of that respect, where teams fear them. It was nice to see, I think United did well, coming back from a mistake from De Gea. It was a great performance mentally and showed they can produce moments of magic with Pogba and Bruno Fernandes. Fans can see this team is growing in confidence.
DB: We saw Rashford play the full 90 minutes after returning from injury. He’s shown incredible maturity and leadership off the pitch in his successful free school meals campaign. What are your expectations of him on the pitch for the remainder of the season?
LS: Rashford is an amazing talent for sure. He can score goals, he can create for others. He can lead a side too now, with his leadership qualities, which is great to see at 22 years old. It’s something he’s been forced to do, as there’s been a lack of those figures before, where previously there were the likes of Gary Neville, Roy Keane. He was forced at a young age to do that. Perhaps too much was demanded of him early on. Just like Pogba or Fernandes, you need quality players around you to actually improve. Bruno Fernandes is like a breath of fresh air. You can see during the game he not only asks questions of the opposition defence but United’s strikers — are they putting themselves in the best positions for him to find them? I think having more quality around him will help Rashford in the long-term in becoming the best player for United because he has all the quality.
It’s amazing what he’s done outside of football. I think a lot of people will try and separate the human from the player, saying he should focus on football and what he can do on the pitch to improve their game. But when you have a large following, you can use your platform to do some great things, Rashford is a brilliant example of someone with unbelievable talent as a player, but has used his platform well.
DB: On the Man Utd podcast in January, you said you played out wide and in the number 10 role very early in your career before playing up front. Rashford has admitted he finds it easier to play on the left-wing than being isolated in a lone striker role. Where would you like to see him play for United and what does he need to add to his game to become a better striker?
LS: The game is different now. Five or six years ago, wingers were perhaps looking to score only occasionally. Now, wingers want to score goals, wingers have a similar mentality to strikers. Wingers with the quality of Rashford want to get on the ball and finish cutting inside from the left, onto his right foot. If he has to adapt and play as a striker in perhaps a different formation, it’s about your positioning, movement and timing to get an advantage over the defence. How you can become more in sync with your teammates. You don’t want the opposition to be able to read you easily. Messi, for example, doesn’t sprint that much in a game, but because he takes up so many different positions on the field, he can’t be marked and he’s very dangerous. When you have the quality of Rashford and Martial with Bruno and Pogba combined, it’s going to be hard for anyone to defend, even those playing under tacticians like Mourinho.
DB: When you spoke with Compare.bet in October last year, you mentioned a need for somebody up front who is strong enough to hold the ball, win duels and to provide time and space for midfielders to create. United signed Ighalo on a short-term deal, which has now been extended. How much does he fill this role you spoke of?
LS: I think Ighalo does fill that role. He perhaps wasn’t the first choice striker, but he has. He was in China and perhaps not the profile, physically, that United were looking for at first. But he has done really really well and impressed. When I mentioned those characteristics, I was thinking of a profile similar to Berbatov or van Nistelrooy, players who could lead the line. Playing for a league title is a marathon, so in order to contend, you have to have different options. You’ll have tough games away from home, where you might want to launch long balls and play a more scrappy style. If you look at the number of crosses in the weekend’s game, I don’t think a striker would have enjoyed this game. As much as I look at technical ability, it’s not enough for a striker. When you are a presence in the box, someone like Dan James might cross because he knows that he has a target man to aim for. This is the option that you need as a big team that are looking for a championship. If you look at Chelsea, Giroud is not going to start all the games, but he will definitely help and Ighalo has done the same, but I don’t think he’s the first choice.
DB: Do you still feel that United need to look for a striker in the transfer window?
LS: I don’t know. This is for Solskjaer to decide, he knows the players, seeing them in training. He understands their potential, who can improve with better players around them. It’s all up to him. When I was at United, I knew I had to perform and score 10 to 15 goals a season if I play. You can’t be 22 years old, starting for Manchester United and being average, United is such a big club, it doesn’t work that way. Every striker in the world wants to play for Manchester United, so you have to produce quality every weekend, otherwise, you’ll be on the bench or in the stands.
DB: With Werner joining Chelsea and Kane, Firmino, Aubameyang and Aguero at other top six clubs, the Premier League has some of the best strikers in the game. Do you think any of the strikers at the ‘big six’ sides would get into the United side?
LS: They’re top players. Definitely, when you’re talking about Harry Kane – a proper striker. When you see how many goals he scores each season, I would be stupid not to consider him. He’s a world-class striker. I know Werner is quite young, but he’s a prolific goalscorer. There’s definitely talent out there in the league and we have to catch up, we need a guaranteed 30 goal striker who is able to create some magic out of nothing, like Van Persie was able to do, removing the burden of having to play well as a side. This is what wins titles. There are six to eight sides competing at the top, plus, there’s so much quality everywhere now, you need competition within the team too.
DB: Martial missed out on the World Cup squad in 2018 after making the Euro 2016 squad. France have such an impressive pool of attacking options, what does he need to do to make French squad in 2021?
LS: I think Anthony has improved a lot, you could see this especially at the start of the year, but you need that aggression when you lead the line for France. Apart from that, quality-wise as a striker, he can score goals, his work rate has improved, he can be a threat throughout the game. I don’t see much room for improvement, apart from being more aggressive. Some of that is perception. I’m not saying to fake it, but in the French squad, you need that more than ever, because there is such competition – you need to show that you want it more. Using myself as an example, it wasn’t my strength, but you have to force it. You have limited time in the French squad to impress your manager.
DB: One of the players ahead of Martial in the pecking order is Kylian Mbappé. Early on in his career, he was compared to Rashford who broke out in similar fashion during his first season. The comparisons died down as Rashford experienced some setbacks while Mbappé continued at the same trajectory and went on to win the World Cup. Do you think Rashford is at the same level, ability-wise?
LS: Ability-wise? Yes. They’re both very fast players, they have the technical ability to get out of situations where they’re surrounded by two or three defenders. In terms of positions, Marcus and Kylian are quite similar. They like to play out wide but have also played up top. Kylian’s strength is that he is very direct, all the time. He doesn’t think twice. When he makes runs, you have to give him the ball, he’s so quick. That kind of directness is something we’ve also seen from Rashford. When he started, he was asking questions of defenders – are you quick enough and good enough to keep me quiet for 90 minutes? In terms of quality they’re definitely in the same bracket. Mbappé has been able to achieve more consistency and approach the game without having to think too much. With United, Rashford has been part of a team in transition, so he couldn’t really express himself. He had to be a leader when perhaps it wasn’t his strength at first. He had to build qualities which should not have been his initial focus. Mbappé has taken advantage because he’s been able to play with PSG players who are at the very top level, so he’s been able to build confidence and try different things, a platform that Rashford hasn’t had so far.
DB: Mbappé, much like yourself, is a product of the famous Clairefontaine academy. I think it’s safe to say that Thierry Henry is Clairefontaine’s greatest success, can Mbappé take that title from him?
LS: When you look at the career of Titi, over 15 years or so he became the best goalscorer France has ever seen, won the Champions League, won the World Cup, the Euros. Thierry is for sure the best player. Right now, in this generation, it’s Kylian. He has the potential to win the Ballon d’Or. The comparison is definitely there. What strikes everyone is the maturity of Mbappé. He’s under immense pressure from the press, and is still able to deliver. There are no limits, he could reach an even higher level, but there’s still a long way. I don’t really like to compare, I just hope Kylian maintains the same trajectory. At some point he may move to Real Madrid or Barcelona, this is where we can ask the question again. He’s done very well with PSG so far and we hope he can reach those targets – winning Ballon d’Ors, more World Cups and Euros.
DB: Pogba still hasn’t started a match since September 30 due to injury, but he came on and changed the game against Spurs, winning the penalty that led to the equalising goal. He clearly has a transformative effect on this side – is he the most influential player in the league?
LS: One of the biggest attractions for sure. His potential is enormous and he has that character, charisma and style, which has been quite divisive – people either celebrate or criticise. Some people are still talking about transfer rumours, I’m not really sure. His injuries have settled down now and in the last few weeks, you can see he has returned to training with a massive smile and he has that spirit of a leader who wants to improve his game without thinking about anything else that happened in the past. You can see in the time he came on against Tottenham, he created moments of magic. You might see it and think it’s normal, no, it’s a quality you rarely see from a big guy. Look at how he took Dier on at the right side, he was almost mocking him – he beat him so easily and won the penalty. He needs the help of the players around him and his presence means people there’s a more balanced distribution of responsibilities. Some will be leaders, some will create for others. He’s so gifted, it’s not just easy on the eye or a few skills, there is no one like Pogba.
DB: Is he a must-start against Sheffield United?
LS: I think because he had the recurring injury, we can’t expect too much straight away. This break has put a lot of players in danger of getting injured, we saw a few in the Liverpool game. These things need to be considered. We can’t expect the players body to simply cope with this – Pogba has had a massive break, so the main target is for him to get as fit as possible for the remainder of his contract as the club fight for Champions League and perhaps beyond.
DB: You previously highlighted midfield as a priority area for reinforcement, specifically to get the best out of Paul Pogba. Bruno Fernandes has hit the ground running and added some much-needed quality to United’s midfield. We haven’t seen much of him and Pogba together, do you think these attack-minded players can co-exist in OGS team? And where do you think Pogba’s best position is in this United team?
LS: Definitely. I think everyone is excited. There is absolutely no reason they can’t play together, they have different qualities. No one can tell me that Bruno Fernandes can do exactly what Paul Pogba can do and vice versa. They are two very different players. Bruno keeps strikers on their toes with his ability to pick a pass a bit higher up the pitch than Paul. He makes sure they’re constantly moving.
Paul Pogba can also play at number 10. I don’t think it’s his best position, but he can do it because he’s technically gifted. He’s at his best from the number 8 position. I think Bruno can play deeper too, but Paul is better physically and can hold off two or three opposition players to create from deep.
You have to play to Pogba’s strengths and give him freedom. Let’s put him in a position where he can influence the game and enhance the creativity of the side, because that’s what United is all about. Of course, the combination of Pogba and Bruno can be magical, but Scott and Fred have definitely impressed me recently. The four or five midfielders they have are good players, so Ole has great options.
DB: Would you consider bringing in anyone else to join them in midfield? We’ve seen links to Donny Van De Beek and Jack Grealish, but Atletico manager Diego Simeone claimed that all the “best clubs” in Europe are looking at Thomas Partey, should United look to bring him in?
LS: He’s a top player. He’s a defensive presence and a tremendous prospect. Whether he can make an impact right away remains to be seen, as we have McTominay, Fred and Matic. However, we have seen the impact that someone like Fabinho has had on Liverpool. He has mastered that position. Fabinho has improved the players around him. This guy is a rock, he defends in such a way that allows the Liverpool frontline to play their game knowing he’s protecting the defence. Perhaps a Fabinho-like player is already at United, but if not, then we need to find someone, whether that’s Thomas Partey or anyone else.
DB: At the top of the year, Solskjaer was very much under fire. They racked up 34 points from their first 24 matches this season, the lowest tally since 1989-90. However, it seems the break has eased the pressure. Last week, the likes of Giggs and Schmeichel have sung his praises in the press. What’s changed? Do you think he’s here for the long run?
LS: What’s changed is the results! When you don’t score goals, don’t play well, when you’re losing games you should at the very least get a point from, that’ll put some pressure on the manager. Ole is learning. He’s digesting a lot of information when it comes to the ins and outs of managing a big club. People from the outside looking in will always assume that they can do a better job. Or because it’s a big club, it has to be done a certain way. As a journalist, someone may tell you that you should write a certain way. Everything is open to criticism, but at the end of the day, it was tough for very experienced managers with strong CVs like Mourinho and Van Gaal. This is a hard job! They all experienced difficult results.
The biggest concern for me, watching United before, was the lack of energy, the lack of aggression, the tempo. They were playing within their comfort zone. Now, this is gone. This is Ole’s biggest achievement. Now all he needs to address is to find a way to increase the competitive spirit within the club. Once you have that, you’ll be able to compete in the Champions League again. These players want to win, they want to please fans, but before, I don’t think they had the platform to do that.
DB: Manchester United fans became accustomed to a certain playing style under Sir Alex Ferguson and under Mourinho, it was a stark contrast. What would you say are characteristics of the team’s playing style under OGS and would you say it’s reminiscent of the setup under Ferguson?
LS: Yes. In the way that they are with the fans, they are way more connected. You could have bad results, but the way that mainly, given the league has changed, playing the game has changed, you still recognise the energy levels and the spirit of United. The football is not on the same level yet, but I recognise the identity of the club. You look at Arsenal, they have a certain identity. They play on the floor, lots of tiki-taka, they never play long balls from the back. When you sign for Arsenal, you sign for that style of football. This United side can adapt – they can go into the Emirates and play a different way to how they’d approach a team like Chelsea or Liverpool, which Ferguson was very good at. This is why I feel like it’s starting to come together.
DB: Ferguson famously built his team around a young British core and it seems Ole is set on doing the same. He’s already brought in Maguire and Wan-Bissaka and the club have been linked with Maddison, Grealish and Sancho. We’ve seen Liverpool and City enjoy success without a strong homegrown presence at either club. Do you think it’s worth paying the premium to get England’s best young talents at United?
LS: I think it’s good to see. We’ve seen some English players travel abroad for playing time they may not have seen here, like Sancho for example, and he’s now grown into the most exciting talent in Europe, you can’t control the guy, he’s now unplayable. But these set-ups can be more for the benefit of the national team rather than the club, and we’ve seen the top players at clubs like Liverpool are not from England. The front three, Fabinho, Van Dijk, Robertson, Allison are not English. Alexander-Arnold and Gomez are part of Liverpool’s core, but rather than nationality being the factor they all fit the identity of the club. Lampard and Terry at Chelsea, Gerrard at Liverpool, they embodied the club with their play style and it acted as the foundation in big games. When you lose that foundation and have to rebuild it’s very hard. People think it’s all about tactics but it’s not, it’s about identity and looking back into the dressing room and knowing there are fighters with you. This is what’s more important to the club rather than nationality.
DB: Spurs were probably the last title challengers that featured several England internationals in prominent roles, with Kane, Alli, Dier, Walker and Rose all featuring for both club and country during their peak. Looking at their current squad, it feels like they’re some way off from contention – can this group reestablish their place as perennial title contenders under Mourinho?
LS: From what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t say that Mourinho has cracked it yet. He’s been testing lots of different combinations, changing the back four, alternating line-ups and approaches to games. We saw against United, it took around 25 minutes before we saw Harry Kane and the frontline trying to press United’s defence which was really strange. Spurs are normally fast and counter-attacking, but they were sitting back too much. It seems like they’re still lacking a bit of spirit. Looking in from the outside, they don’t feel that confident which affects your approach to each game and impacts you mentally. There is quality there, and from a tactical standpoint I’d like to see them endanger the opposition more, but I’m not the manager.
DB: Before the break in the season, Mourinho made his thoughts on Tanguy Ndombele clear, saying he’s had enough time to ‘come to a different level’. He’s only completed a full 90 minutes once since the second match week. Tottenham broke their transfer record to sign him, but he hasn’t exactly set the league alight. Do you think his game would be better suited to a less intense league, like Serie A or La Liga?
LS: I don’t think so. I think he’s got the style, the quality, OK, he hasn’t completed a full game for various reasons, but I would attribute this more to his nonchalant playing style rather than fitness. He was finishing all the games at Lyon, and when you play there you have to be one of the fittest players in the league, so I’m telling you it’s not a fitness issue. Ndombele’s a massive talent, he has the quality to play in the Premier League and dominate the Premier League, can perform in the Champions League and for the national side. He can do more, but I don’t think the critics are right because we’ve seen what he can do at Lyon.
DB: Jose Mourinho is notoriously stubborn, do you think Ndombele can turn things around while he’s still at the helm?
LS: Yes. As a professional footballer, you have to adapt. Whatever you hear the critics saying, at the end of the day it’s the football field where you have to prove people wrong. He’s a competitor and terrific player, and so his quality will shine and he’ll want to show that. You have to bring that to the training ground and show people how wrong they are. Players like Sterling have done this in the past, and have come back and proved people wrong. Dele Alli has been criticised big time. It’s been difficult for some to grasp which position he should play, and so people talk and put pressure on and it doesn’t help. When I was at United, I felt the manager was able to take pressure off the players and gave us confidence and validation needed to produce. Mourinho may have a different way of thinking and dealing with things. But when you show off your qualities and what you can do, people quickly forget about your weaknesses.
DB: On the red side of North London, your former Everton teammate Mikel Arteta is rebuilding with a youthful Arsenal squad. Did you think he’d become a manager during his playing days?
LS: Yes. He was the type of player who was always involved, chatting with the manager, looking for any area in which he could improve, whether it be fitness, tactics, nutrition, all those things and he took such a keen interest in the game it was not surprising to see him become an assistant manager. But did I expect him to become manager of Arsenal so quickly? No.
DB: Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has just over one year left on his contract and there are rumours he could be on his way out of the club sooner rather than later. What do you think the best resolutions are for the club and player?
LS: Arsenal fans may not like this, but I’d like him to join United, I’d be very happy with that [laughter]. I’m sure Arsenal fans would not take that well, but that’s my advice to Auba.
DB: We’ve seen Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhutl strip Pierre Hojberg of the captain’s armband after he expressed his desire to leave the Saints. Do you think this is the right thing to do for someone like Aubameyang, while there’s uncertainty surrounding his future?
LS: No, but I don’t think it’s a nice position to be in as a player. You want to sort out your contract and just focus on your football as these situations are always difficult to deal with. Me, I would always feel it’s up to the player, and if the manager or the board thinks otherwise it’s always going to be a difficult situation, especially if you have other people talking in the press, even if you’re quiet but have others speaking instead of you like an agent or family member, it’s tough. My advice would be to try and focus on the game, keep training hard, and be professional. But you get 15 years in a career if you’re lucky, you have to make your choices and nobody can stop you from thinking certain ways. At the end of the day when you don’t play well the club deposes of you, it goes both ways.
DB: Of Arsenal’s younger players, is there anyone that stands out as a future club captain?
LS: Not particularly. It’s really hard with the younger generations, not because they are not good enough, but naturally footballers have changed, social media has put them under the spotlight like never before. Imagine being a leader on the field. You may have some players afraid of criticism or who are not used to being told off by a captain, or afraid of how it’d look on social media. You see people like Roy Keane on TV saying players aren’t doing enough of this, but I think those times are gone.
DB: After the weekend fixtures, United are five points away from Chelsea in 4th. If you had to call it now, will United secure a Champions League place?
LS: They can secure a place. It’s going to be tough, but you need to fight until the end. They have quality, they can score goals away from home, they need to defend better but the fixture list is ok, so given what we have seen lately, I’m confident.
DB: Looking ahead to Wednesday, Sheffield United will come to Old Trafford in a battle between clubs looking to secure European qualification. Sheffield United have been the shock of the season and whether or not they land a spot in European competition next season, it’ll be considered a huge success. They’ve largely relied on their resolute defence throughout the season, although did just ship 3 goals to Newcastle. How can United break them down?
LS: It’s going to be a tough game. Sheffield United have proved to be very tough to play against this season, defensively they’re compact, they’re aggressive, and they take you on a difficult journey. So yes it’s going to be tough, but we’ve seen United have firepower everywhere, we know the strikers, and Fernandes, Pogba, McTominay can strike the ball from far. It’s a tough game, but I still see ways for United to score goals and they will have too much quality.
DB: Sheffield United’s first game of the restart was a disappointing 0-0 draw with Aston Villa. After being denied all three points by an error by the Premier League’s goal-line technology. United were on the right side of one of these decisions back in 2005 when Roy Carroll dropped Pedro Mendes’ long-range effort behind the goal line. You were out injured for that game, but what’s the reaction like in the dressing room when that kind of refereeing blunder goes your way?
LS: I can’t remember exactly after the incident, but when something like that does happen and you’re on the wrong end you have to get on with the decision made even if it’s hard to digest. In the dressing room you look at other aspects of the game you could’ve improved, various incidents that did or didn’t go your way, chances you should’ve taken, and you regret these moments just as much too.
DB: Of course, much of their stellar defensive record can be attributed to Dean Henderson, who has had a fantastic season on loan with the Blades. In contrast, David De Gea has come under increased criticism, including from Roy Keane, due to recent errors including one against Spurs for Bergwijn’s goal. Do you think Henderson has shown enough to challenge for a spot in United’s starting lineup next season?
LS: Goalkeeping is a difficult position. You get down for one or two moments in the game and everyone is suddenly on your back, it’s tough. De Gea should’ve done better for Bergwijn’s goal, it’s a bad mistake. Looking back on the season he’s had three or four of these, so you think ‘hang on a minute’ and you’re wondering if he just switches off because these are big mistakes not just something small which maybe he could’ve done better with. So that’s why Roy has been a bit harsh and why some of the fans could be because you end up costing your team six or seven points. But there are also points earned when he makes tremendous saves so it’s a difficult one. You also have Henderson doing really well, who I think has been more challenged in goal, but you don’t judge a goalkeeper for just one year. You don’t know how a keeper may respond to changes in pressure when at a new club, and playing for United is not the same as playing for Sheffield United. He has the talent, that’s not a question, and maybe it’s healthy for De Gea to think about competition.
DB: After a mistake by Harry Maguire against Burnley in January, Rio Ferdinand claimed that Chris Smalling, United’s “best defender”, should have been kept at Old Trafford. Roma’s sporting director Gianluca Pertrachi recently said that the club will do “everything we can” to keep Smalling beyond the end of his loan spell. Do you think Smalling could have played an important role this season?
LS: Chris is a top defender. In this transitional period at the club, some players had to take up different roles. Fellaini, for example, a defensive midfielder, was asked to take up a more offensive role. Maybe because the other players were not that good or not that confident, or the setup was not right, so there was pressure on him to do more.
Chris Smalling was criticised because he was asked to do things that he was not good at and at Roma, he seems more comfortable having been given a role that suits him. This is why it’s difficult to compare such situations. At the time, Rio was defending Smalling’s quality and I’m not going to disagree. He was responding to Maguire making some really bad mistakes over that weekend. We can debate whether or not he should have stayed, but I don’t think Chris Smalling would have been happy to see Maguire starting every game instead of him. It’s better for him to get his confidence back in Rome. Defensively, I feel United have been better, they’ve been composed. I’m not saying that Chris couldn’t have been part of that, but he definitely would have been frustrated not having a guaranteed place in the team.
DB: The weekend of football came to an end with a fixture you’ve played in – the Merseyside derby. Liverpool didn’t get the result they were looking for as they look to wrap up the title after such a long break. They only need five more points. They’re currently 23 points clear, so they could break the record for the biggest winning margin. This was a record once held by Man Utd. How do you think this Liverpool team compares to the title-winning sides that you were a part of?
LS: I think that Liverpool totally deserve this run of form. They’ve narrowly missed out in some years. But there’s no comparison. It’s a different game of football. What Sir Alex left behind, no one can reproduce, ever. What the Liverpool side have done, I don’t think that can be reproduced either, I doubt they can do the same again. All teams have reinforced and will be competitive so I’m quite excited to see next season.
All due respect to Liverpool, I think they deserve the title for what they have done this season.
DB: It’s been a while since your playing career came to an end, We’ve seen you since take up punditry, but is there anything you’ve been doing outside of football?
LS: After my career came to an end in 2013, I dedicated my time to building a platform where players and staff can unlock the right opportunities, called Axistars. I wanted to provide a platform where players can educate and equip themselves on their own terms throughout their career. This can provide players with that confidence, we have seen what that can do for a player like Rashford and we’ve seen what he’s done in recent weeks. He has the right support team and we want to help players and staff in every industry make an impact in a similar fashion.