It all depends whether or not you use direct or indirect speech. Direct speech quotes them, indirect gives the gist of what they said.
This is from a BBC sports article.
Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi has the potential to become one of the best players in Europe, according to manager Maurizio Sarri.
The above is indirect speech. It says what Sarri said about Hudson-Odoi without going into specifics.
Later on in the article direct speech is used, Sarri is quoted.
"He's a very good player, the potential is for becoming a great player, and now he has to improve," Sarri said.
"He has to improve, I think, in movement without the ball.
"As a winger, he has to improve in the defensive phase, but he has the potential to become a very important player, not only for English football I think but for European football."