Manchester United should drop Scott McTominay AND Fred from midfield and play new centre back Lisandro Martinez in their place, claims club legend Rio Ferdinand as Erik ten Hag tries to find the right formula
- Rio Ferdinand has called on Erik ten Hag to drop Scott McTominay and Fred
- The United legend said new signing Lisandro Martinez should play in midfield
- Ten Hag wants to bring in a host of new central midfielders this summer
- Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is close to agreeing a deal to join the club
Rio Ferdinand has called on new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag to drop both Fred and Scott McTominay following the club’s opening Premier League weekend loss to Brighton.
United’s engine room was overran in the shock defeat, with McTominay appearing to lose the ball with almost every second touch and Fred taking too long on the ball when they tried to play out from the back.
Neither offered the team’s shaky defence the protection it desperately requires as Graham Potter guided Brighton to their first-ever win at Old Trafford with Ferdinand suggesting Ten Hag drops both midfielders for the upcoming trip to Brentford.
Rio Ferdinand has called on Manchester United to drop midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay
The legendary defenders has suggested that Lisandro Martinez is used in midfield instead
‘I wouldn’t pick McTominay or Fred,’ said Ferdinand on his Vibe with Five Youtube show.
‘Listen, whatever happens, Man United will improve from the first day against Brighton.
‘Things can only get better.’
The legendary centre-back instead suggested that new marquee summer signing Lisandro Martinez should start in the defensive midfield position against Brentford.
Martinez started alongside club captain Harry Maguire for the Brighton loss while serial Champions League winner Raphael Varane was left to stew on the bench.
Fred and McTominay have become mainstays alongside each other in the United midfield
United boss Erik ten Hag played the ‘McFred’ duo for United’s season-opening loss on Sunday
Now Ferdinand has suggested that Martinez should instead be deployed as a defensive midfielder.
‘In my midfield, I’m going to play Martinez as the holding midfielder and take Fred out,’ he said.
‘I’m going to play Varane and Maguire [at centre-back].’
Central midfield has become a problem area for United that urgently needs fixing, with the departures of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic leaving Donny van de Beek, Fred and McTominay as the only first-team midfielders available, with Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen playing further forward.
Ferdinand was speaking on his Youtube show ‘Vibe with Five’ as he made the claims
Academy product Zidane Iqbal could force his way into Ten Hag’s plans after impressing in pre-season, but it would be a risky move to leave out three established internationals in favour of the 19-year-old, who is yet to make a Premier League appearance.
Ten Hag has been keen to bring in midfield reinforcements since taking the huge role at United, with the Dutchman highlighting Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong as his top target.
However the planned move has now become the biggest summer transfer saga with De Jong reportedly refusing to negotiate with any clubs as Barcelona try to offload the 25-year-old.
Out-of-favour Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is, however, set to join United after a £15million fee was agreed with the Italian side.