While football has largely ground to a halt, there were still a couple of leagues defiantly going on this past weekend.

In both Russia and Turkey games continued as normal, and it is in the latter where a former Manchester United player was involved.

Remember Gabriel Obertan? He’s still playing, for BB Erzurumspor in the Turkish second division.

Obertan lined up as a central attacking midfielder as his side drew 0-0 away at Akhisarspor.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)


A £3 million punt

Obertan was signed by United for just £3 million in the same summer which Cristiano Ronaldo left back in 2009. The need for this void to be filled can hardly have helped him.

He was just 20 at the time, and a clear work in progress. Even so, he was a player United had high hopes for.

Sir Alex Ferguson told The Guardian: “We are delighted to get him now as he is an exciting prospect. We like to get young players and develop them, and we will see that in Gabriel over the next two years.”

Ultimately United got what they paid for. A player who was not ready. He made 28 appearances in total, 14 in the Premier League, scoring once.

(Photo by Fahrettin Gok/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

What has he been up to since?

Obertan left United in 2011 for Newcastle United, and that was a bad move for him. He struggled to make an impression and ended up wasting five years of his career there, playing just 27 times across his last three years and 76 games in total.

By time he left in 2016, Obertan was in need of a career reset, and headed to Russian side Anzhi, where he did not find what he needed.

He popped back up at Wigan Athletic, where he played 12 games, before signing with Bulgarian side Levski Sofia.

Erzumumspor signed him in 2018, bringing him to the Turkish second tier, where he has scored three goals since.

At 31, Obertan’s career is on a downward trajectory, but it is good for him he is still going. He may have a few years left yet.

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