Rio Ferdinand warns Manchester United’s centre back partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof is NOT good enough to win trophies, with the pair often ‘exposed and physically dominated’ by opponents
- Rio Ferdinand warned that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof can get exposed
- Ex-Red Devils defender expressed doubts about having pair at heart of defence
- The duo kept a clean sheet for a second game in a row in 5-0 win over RB Leipzig
- Paul Scholes says Maguire and Lindelof are ‘better’ with protection from midfield
Rio Ferdinand believes the centre back partnership of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof is not at the level to win major honours for Manchester United.
The duo helped United keep a clean sheet in their emphatic 5-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday night, after shutting out Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend.
United’s defence had come under scrutiny during the first part of the season and ex-United centre half Ferdinand has expressed doubt over having Maguire and Lindelof at the heart of the defence, warning that they can get exposed.
Rio Ferdinand believes Harry Maguire (R) and Victor Lindelof are not at level to win major titles
Ferdinand has expressed doubt over the defensive pair, warning that they can get exposed
‘Is it good enough? I’d probably say no, if you’re trying to win the top competitions,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘Yes, last season they had a good defensive record, but I just see moments in games where they get opened up, they get physically dominated at times, especially in terms of pace, especially if their protection isn’t what you’d expect it to be if the game opens up a little bit.
‘If the game opens up and they’re on the halfway line and they’re playing one-v-one or two-v-two, then I fear for my life in that situation. If the team shape is fine and it’s all set up properly, then they look a decent pairing.’
Maguire played alongside Eric Bailly (L) when Man United were humiliated 6-1 by Tottenham
Paul Scholes said Maguire and Lindelof are ‘better’ with protection from the midfield
The central area of the back four has proven to be a problem position for Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having used Maguire, Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe this campaign.
Maguire and Bailly were the centre back duo in United’s 6-1 humiliating defeat by Tottenham but Solskjaer has reverted back to Maguire, who endured a tough spell for club and country earlier on in the season, and Lindelof in the last two games.
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes also weighed in on the debate on United’s centre back situation and said Maguire and Lindelof are ‘better’ with protection from midfield.
‘When they have the two (Fred and McTominay) in front of them, they look different,’ Scholes said. ‘They had that little bit of protection that’s helped them. Not all of them (need it).
‘You’re a defender for a reason, you’re supposed to be OK one-on-one, sometimes it can take away the attacking side of the team which it has done in the last couple of games, especially against Chelsea on Saturday. Fred and McTominay have definitely made them look better players, and they’ll prefer that.’
United linked with move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, who played in their 5-0 loss
Solskjaer strengthened his defence with the addition of left back Alex Telles this summer but United have been heavily linked with a move for RB Leipzig centre back Dayot Upamecano, who lined up at Old Trafford in the group stage clash.
United were sensational with Marcus Rashford scoring a hat-trick and fellow forwards Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial also getting on the scoresheet, leaving Upamecano and his team-mates blown away.
‘He [Rashford] made defenders who we were marvelling about before the game, who we saw last season play really well in the Champions League, he made them look like schoolboys tonight,’ Ferdinand added.
‘This is about being ruthless but I thought Upamecano had a nightmare today.’
Marcus Rashford scored brilliant hat-trick as United thrashed RB Leipzig in Champions League