'No pressure!" - Burnley boss Vincent Kompany on new signing Manuel Benson's Gareth Bale comparisons

Back in 2019, Manuel Benson was linked with Inter Milan after a sparkling season on loan from Antwerp at Royal Excel Mouscron, where he claimed six goals and nine assists.

By Chris Boden
Friday, 5th August 2022, 10:00 am

His agent Patrick de Koster said, to FCInterNews: “He is a very, very technical attacking player, a left-footed winger, great on the ball and at his best when deployed on the wing.

"(Like) Gareth Bale. Rapid, fast, great acceleration and an eye for goal.

"Obviously I’m not comparing the two, I’m just saying Manuel has a playing style reminiscent of that of the Real Madrid player.”

Antwerp's Benson Manuel pictured in action during a game between Belgian Royal Antwerp FC and Kosovar Klubi Futbollistik Drita, Thursday 28 July 2022 in Gjilan. Antwerp plays the return leg of the second qualifying round for the UEFA Europa Conference League after a draw 0-0 at first leg. BELGA PHOTO NIKOLA KRSTIC (Photo by NIKOLA KRSTIC / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP) (Photo by NIKOLA KRSTIC/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Vincent Kompany smiled when asked about the likeness after the 25-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Clarets: "No pressure!

"If that's the level he can get to, then I'm happy to be a part of that, it would be easier for me as a coach as well!

"But generally, what I expect from him is just to do the things he can do.

"He's a threat one v one, I've seen enough.

"You will have deep blocks you have to handle this season, and if you have someone running at you and can beat you, the entire nature of your shape changes.

"On top of that, he's a good person, which is really important for how we build our squad as well, someone that will fit into the group, and then show how good he is.”

With an eye for the spectacular, like Bale, Kompany added: "As long as he's productive, I will be the first to encourage all of that, but my main thing is you look at all season and the tools you need to get through different types of opponents, and that's what we're trying to do with the squad.”

And while a left-footed wide player, like Bale, Benson can play in a number of different roles, as Kompany explained: "You'll probably see most of the players we look at are quite flexible with their position, and certainly the same for Benson.

"It's important, especially with the volume of games, so you don't have to change around the entire system if one or two players are not available.

"With the bench more restricted in the Championship, I think squad size is 20 in the Prem and 18 in the Championship, which is a big difference.

"You have to make sure you have players who can play in numerous positions, and he's one of them.

"Ideally he plays in his best position.”

Benson is available to face Luton Town at Turf Moor on Saturday if selected, with the deal having gone through before Friday’s noon deadline.