Louis Saha Exclusive: Zidane Should Take Over From Rangnick
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Louis Saha Exclusive: Zidane Should Take Over From Rangnick

Former France international Louis Saha believes compatriot Zinedine Zidane is “the perfect fit” for Manchester United and wants to see him succeed Ralf Rangnick in the summer. In two stints as Real Madrid manager, Zidane claimed a record-breaking three consecutive Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles. The 49-year-old left Los Blancos in May 2021 and remains a free agent, with Saha hoping the Red Devils can secure his signature when Rangnick steps down at the end of the season.



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Zidane The Perfect Fit

Speaking exclusively to Genting, the ex-United striker said: “I think it’s a difficult one, but of course as a French player, I think Zidane would be the perfect fit. 

“Maybe Manchester United need to become more of an attractive proposition to get him – I don’t know. For me, Zidane is the best candidate.

“As a manager, he would improve the confidence of some players. Look at what Zidane has won, not just as a player, but in management. 

“He also has a history of developing young players and brought some to a level they never expected. I really like his profile and I think that he would do amazing things there.”

Lack Of English Could Be An Issue

Saha does not think Zidane’s reported lack of fluency in English would prevent him from being successful, but concedes that it may be a factor that makes the former Real Madrid boss reluctant to take the job.

“He’s not well-known as a great communicator in English, but he knows that,” Saha explained. 

“As I said, communication is so important for any manager so the players can understand his tactics and his philosophy. 

If he doesn’t feel comfortable communicating in the English language, that could be a reason [why he doesn’t take the job] because it's important. 

“The guy’s charisma speaks for itself. His pedigree as well, but maybe sometimes it’s not enough. I can’t speak for Zidane. 

“What is certain – any manager coming in will have to find the right way to communicate, and, obviously, he will be helped, way more than the current manager, because of who he is. 

“If he were to join I feel confident he would be an amazing success.”

Saha Defends Limited Progress

Saha has defended United’s limited progress since Rangnick’s appointment, pointing to the German’s need to initially steady the ship.

The Frenchman also suggested that some United players have not performed to the standard Rangnick would have been expecting.

“The first task of any new manager is to come and try and find a strong foundation that makes you difficult to beat,” he said. 

“In some ways, Ralf has had to be a bit cautious because United were losing so many games under Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] and he needed to improve the results from day one. He did what was necessary for the first five or six games. 

“I think he would have expected more from some players. I think he would have hoped to see players like [Jadon] Sancho shining and playing with lots of energy; pressing and playing on the front foot. He would have thought about different tactical scenarios with the players. 

“In those first few games, it was all about building a strong base and making United hard to beat. Now, he needs to find the right tactics where everyone in the team can shine.

“There are a lot of different tactical combinations that Ragnick could introduce, but finding the right balance that allows the attacking players United have to shine is crucial. 

“For example, [Cristiano] Ronaldo is playing in the role of a traditional striker, but United are not giving him the service that I had with crosses into the box and wide attacking play. 

“These days, a lot of wingers come inside like [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane at Liverpool – it is a different way of playing. It makes it harder for the traditional striker. 

“The United fans are very knowledgeable. Perhaps they are comparing this team to teams of the past, but this is a different United team in a different era. 

“Some of the fans may not be happy at the moment with the style, but I think the fluid attacking football they like to see can come back.”

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V: 1.22.1 All rights reserved. August 2021
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