Premier League

Rio Ferdinand On The Manchester United Player And Position That's 'An Issue' For Solskjaer

Rio Ferdinand On The Manchester United Player And Position That's 'An Issue' For Solskjaer

With Manchester United travelling to Brighton this afternoon, the pressure is on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following United's defeat to Crystal Palace in their season opener and Rio Ferdinand has identified the position that United need to improve upon.

Granted, the notion that a manager is under pressure after only two games might seem absurd, but the lack of new signings at Old Trafford has given the United fans another reason for concern.

The 3-1 defeat at home to Palace was poor, but it was the manner of the defending that would have United supporters worried and against Brighton, United started with De Gea in goal behind a back-four of Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, and Shaw.

However, it's the inclusion of Eric Bailly on the bench that was a point of discussion for Rio Ferdinand ahead of the game at the Amex Arena.

Last season, the Ivory Coast international only featured in 12 games in all competitions and speaking ahead of the Brighton match, Ferdinand said that Bailly's fitness is "an issue" for Solskjaer to deal with.

"Eric Bailly, you can talk about him however you want as a football player, he doesn't stay fit and that's an issue. If you're a team that wants to be successful, you need players that will remain fit all the time. Injuries are a part of football, but he's not someone that we've been able to rely on," he said.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for BT Sport, Ferdinand also said that he's deeply concerned about the centre-back area of Manchester United.

Advertisement

When asked about the current pairing of Maguire and Lindelof, the former Leeds United and West Ham defender wasn't optimistic about the future.

"You look at Liverpool, the best team in the land, they had an issue in the goalkeeper area - they went out and buy Allison, a big singing. They had issues at centre-half, they sign Van Dijk. Bang, they deal with it. Man Utd hasn't done that, this isn't an issue that just happened the other day," said Ferdinand.

The former England international then explains why Manchester United's pursuit of Jadon Sancho is somewhat futile when compared to their bigger issues.

"I want Jadon Sancho to come to United, he's a generational talent and someone that will get people off their seats, he's a Man Utd player. But does he solve the fundamental problem that I see that's happening with this team? Yes, they had a fantastic goals against record last season, but are there moments in games - or before the game in the tunnel - when centre-forwards will be looking across that line and thinking 'I'll have to be at my absolute best to get an opportunity against this Man Utd team?'  I don't think so and that's a problem for me," added Ferdinand.

You can view his comments on Bailly and United's centre-back pairing below.

SEE ALSO: Report: Manchester United Will Submit One Final Offer For Jadon Sancho

Paul Moore

You may also like