Neville praises Cruyff like quality of El Fitouri

by Sam Peoples

Phil Neville has praised Manchester United’s new signing Sadiq El Fitouri for his Cruyff like dribbling and ability to take the ball past a player.

The 20-year-old was playing for Salford City at the time having been released by Manchester City and immediately impressed both Neville and Scholes in bleep tests during training.

Bleep tests were where David Beckham earned his stripes at the very beginning and having been impressed by El Fitouri’s running ability, Neville explained how the Libyan born right-back followed it up on the training pitch.

“Then we had a practice game, 11v11. It was absolutely freezing,” Neville said.

“Sadiq went down the wing, went past a player like Cruyff then stroked the ball into midfield. I’d been drawn to him since that bleep test but the more we watched him in training, the more I thought: ‘He’s a player’. After four times I thought: ‘This lad is definitely a player’.”

“I thought: ‘Wow, this boy can run!” Phil Neville

High praise indeed from Neville. Sadiq’s story is a romantic and the local lad went from being unemployed to signing for Man United in a whirlwind three week period and what an opportunity he has got.

There are absolutely no guarantees El Fitouri will turn out to become a first-team player at Man United but the beauty of signing up local talent on short term contracts to play with the U21s is that there is no risk involved.

If El Fitouri does have as much talent as Neville suggests and is able to match it in mentality, you never know, maybe he could be playing under Louis van Gaal sooner rather than later.

Latest Top Stories...