Cape Town – Neil Warnock says Emiliano Sala would have been a hit for Cardiff City but admits the club have to move on after the discovery of his body.
Sala’s body was formally identified by the Dorset coroner on Thursday night, a day after it was recovered from the underwater wreckage in the English Channel.
The flight carrying Sala from Nantes to Cardiff following his record £15million transfer to the Premier League club two days earlier crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21. Pilot David Ibbotson remains missing.
Although he never got to see Sala in action for Cardiff, Warnock is convinced he would have been a huge success in the Premier League.
Cardiff manager Warnock said: “While everybody expects the worst, when it happens (receiving the news that Sala’s body had been identified), and I got a phone call last night, it was strange.
“It brings the family peace and offers them comfort – that’s what (Warnock’s wife) Sharon said from the start.
“You don’t ever forget things like this, and we all have things like this happen in our lifetime. You just have to move on, and put things at the back of your mind.”
He added: “He was a Neil Warnock type of player. I always thought he was a type of player that would score 10 or 15 for me at the top level every year.
“But not just that – he would work hard as a team player. He just fit the criteria for what I look for in a player – somebody who can do something special, but at the same time is a very good lad.”