Thursday, May 30, 2024

Eagles flies United nest

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Jul 2008


Manchester United's Chris Eagles has left the English and European champions to join second-tier Championship club Burnley on a three-year deal.

The 22-year-old winger joined United at the age of 14 but has been unable to become a first-team regular.

And even though he scored against Kaizer Chiefs and Portsmouth on United's pre-season tour of Africa, Eagles is leaving in order to pursue his goal of regular first-team football.

Eagles, who previously had loan spells at Watford, Sheffield Wednesday and Dutch club NEC Nijmegen said it was advice from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson which had prompted his move.

“I spoke to Sir Alex a lot about it because he's looked after me since I was 14,” said Eagles. “He told my mum and dad he was going to look after me and he did. He said it's going to be a big decision but he believes that with the talent I've got I need to go and play.

“It's no good me sitting in the stands.

“United need to win every game and they're not going to play someone who hasn't been playing regularly.”

Eagles, Burnley's sixth pre-season signing, added: “People don't realise that a decision like this bangs at your head and you need to just get it signed and sealed.

“But I don't need to move here – I can still live in Manchester – and I think altogether the whole package was very good.

“I was in a comfort zone because I had been there since the age of 14.

“It was a hard move to leave a club where I knew everyone from the cleaner to the manager.

“It's a big step but I believe it's a step in the right direction.

“I was very impressed with Owen Coyle (Burnley manager) and am just looking forward to playing regularly.”

Had Cristiano Ronaldo gone to Real Madrid, a move that now appears to have collapsed, it could have paved the way for fellow winger Eagles to get into the first team. “It may have done but you just don't really know,” said Eagles.

“I need to concentrate on myself and I don't need to worry about whether someone is leaving.

“He's a great player and I wish him all the best whatever he does.”


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