Mikel Arteta has it easier at Arsenal because he doesn’t have to manage the likes of Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo, Louis Saha believes. The Manchester United pair are both regularly in the headlines. And they’ve endured difficult starts to the season, albeit for differing reasons.
Manchester United have seen Ronaldo score just twice this season, with the Portugal international’s powers starting to wane as he enters the twilight years of his career.
And Maguire had lost his place in the side before picking up an injury during the recent international break.
While the United duo have struggled, Arsenal have flourished – with the Gunners winning eight of their first nine Premier League matches.
Yet while Saha thinks Arteta has done well this season, he also thinks the lack of characters such as Ronaldo and Maguire is a benefit.
“Some other squads are playing better at the moment, like maybe Arsenal, and you’ll see less problems with status and ego down there than with United,” he told Compare.bet.
“You don’t have to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo and scoring 700 goals or Maguire being club captain.
“Whereas Arsenal has a young squad full of talent and you can manage them. You can tell them to go and sit on the bench, players might not be happy but they can’t do anything about it.
“That’s not the case with United. It’s harder, there’s more politics and it can be a big challenge.”
Saha played alongside Ronaldo during his own playing days.
Yet while he feels his team-mate can perhaps be a slight issue, he’s adamant Erling Haaland won’t be able to better his achievements in the coming years ahead.
“I don’t know, because what I see with Haaland, I don’t think he has the complete package like Ronaldo,” he said.
“I don’t think Haaland will change a position like Ronaldo did as a goalscoring winger.
“It’s not about numbers, it’s about your impact on the game and how much you achieve.
“What Ronaldo has done is really unbelievable, I mean it. Nobody will be able to conquer Europe the way he did.
“Nobody should disrespect what he has done, I’m really adamant about that.
“No matter how many goals someone scores, we shouldn’t compare them to Cristiano…I don’t want to discredit what Haaland is doing, but I’m sorry, it’s a different era!”
Saha also talked about Casemiro, too, insisting the former Real Madrid star will only get better for United.
The Brazil international started in the Premier League for the first time on Sunday and impressed as the Red Devils beat Everton 2-1.
It’s been a slow start from the Samba star, who set United back a massive £70million back in the summer.
Yet Saha thinks his class will soon be evident, adding: “He’s still adapting to the Premier League, but that will happen.
“He’s not a robot, even if he looks like it sometimes! He’s a very, very strong lad.
“He has a tiger in his eyes. You can see he’s very smart. With each game he will improve and he will have the same impact on the team that Fabinho had for Liverpool when he first arrived.”
Saha has defended Jadon Sancho as well, with the United star blowing hot and cold so far this term.
“He comes from the West Indies like me, and we are relaxed, this is our style,” he said.
“When teams are struggling we want to see the warriors like Roy Keane and John O’ Shea, that’s not Jadon’s style.
“You can’t ask Sancho to do those things, it’s not fair.”