On this Day: Portsmouth defender insists - we've landed the new David Beckham

Sulley MuntariSulley Muntari
Sulley Muntari
On this day in 2007, Sulley Muntari was hailed as Pompey’s David Beckham.

At the time, Blues skipper Dejan Stefanovic reckoned the midfielder was as great a passer as the then Real Madrid and England star. 

And he believed Pompey’s club-record £7m capture could have a devastating influence in the Premiership

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Muntari gave Pompey fans a glimpse of what he was capable of in Kanu’s charity game at Fratton Park the previous month, spraying passes around with his left foot. 

But it was also the Ghana star’s energy and attacking verve that had Harry Redknapp so excited about his arrival. 

It was a view shared by Stefanovic, who first saw Muntari playing in the 2006 World Cup. 

A goal against the Czech Republic and a blistering performance against Brazil convinced Redknapp he wanted to sign the 22-year-old. 

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Stefanovic had a first-hand taste of Muntari’s talents when he came up against him in Kanu’s game. 

The defender told The News: ‘Sylvain Distin and Hermann Hreidarsson are good experienced players and good signings. 

‘I’m excited about Sulley Muntari, too.

 ‘I saw him close up in the Kanu charity match – and he’s going to be perfect for the Premiership. 

‘He reminds me of David Beckham in a lot of ways.

‘He hits passes with his left foot like Beckham does with his right.

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 ‘He likes to hit long cross-field passes and he moves and works hard like Beckham.’ 

Muntari was sent off three times for Udinese in Serie A during the 2006-07 season. 

But Stefanovic thought his combative style was perfect for the Premiership. 

The Serb added: ‘There is always a question mark over players when they come to a new country. I always say that. 

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‘Muntari is an aggressive type of player, too. But maybe it will suit him to play this way in England.

 ‘He has the potential to be a terrific player for this football club. We’ve paid a lot of money for him. Time will tell if it’s money well spent.’