Aaron Wan Bissaka tackles Ross Barkley on his Manchester United debut

Ferdinand discusses ‘brilliant’ AWB and creating the ‘ultimate machine’ with TAA

Rio Ferdinand has lavished praise on Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and believes combining the youngster with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold would complete the ‘ultimate machine’ at full-back.

The former England defender was discussing the strengths of the two emerging full-backs and believes both are exceptional players, highlighting Wan-Bissaka’s defensive abilities and Alexander-Arnold’s forward threat.

The former Crystal Palace defender has developed a reputation as one of the best defensive right-backs in the Premier League, while his counterpart at Liverpool has registered an impressive 12 assists this season, second only to Kevin de Bruyne.

However, the duo are currently amongst a wealth of high-quality options for the England side at right-back alongside the likes of Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier.

Ferdinand admits that England manager Gareth Southgate could have a selection dilemma on his hands, but suggested that the Manchester United full-back could be utilised in a more central role in order to accommodate the pair.

“If you moulded them two players together, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold, you’ve got the best player,” Ferdinand said in a Q&A on his Instagram.

“Aaron Wan-Bissaka one-versus-one, I’ve seen Sterling play against him and Sterling rinses everybody, [but] he finds it hard against Wan-Bissaka.

“One-versus-one he will match you physically, he will run with you, he will slide on the floor if you’re getting away from him a little bit more and he has to go into overdrive.

“He can cover people, unbelievable. He could play right side of a back three at Man United if they wanted to, I think he’d be brilliant there.

“On the ball nowhere near as good as Trent, but Trent defensively one-on-one isn’t anywhere near as good as Wan-Bissaka, so if you had both of them you’ve got the ultimate machine.

“It depends on the game, If I knew I was going to have to defend a lot and I need someone to lock down the winger I’m bringing AWB on.”

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