Manchester United fans are purring once again following their recent impressive run, though Rio Ferdinand reckons they still need to add three more players to their squad in order to challenge for the title.
United’s 5-2 win over Bournemouth on Saturday was their 16th game unbeaten, a win which temporarily lifted them above Chelsea into the top four. It was also the first time they had netted five goals in a game at Old Trafford since back in 2011, leaving Manchester United fans excited about the future.
Despite only conceding six goals in that unbeaten run – which stretches back to January – some of the Red Devils’ defending against the struggling Cherries left plenty to be desired, and former club great Rio Ferdinand reckons the club needs to add a pacey centre-back to their ranks as well as another central midfielder and an additional forward.
“I think they need to add three starters minimum,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “I’m talking definitely a centre-back, with pace. You’ve got Harry Maguire there who they’ve invested huge amounts in. I think he’s not someone blessed with pace, he’s got other attributes that you like. But you need someone with pace to be able to sit alongside him and cover.
“Another midfielder to go in there who can dominate physically as well and we can actually understand defensive positions. Yes, Scott McTominay has been a fantastic addition as a young player coming in, the experience as well.
“And I think even in the forward areas another player to come in and really rival that front three and be a part of that and add goals.’
Speaking specifically about the centre-back role, Ferdinand contrasted United’s current options to the defenders at the disposal of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof hardly renowned for their pace.
“I think you see Liverpool dominating at the moment and one of the things they have got is they just allow their team to push forward in droves because they have two centre halves who can stand on the halfway line and play man-for-man because they have that pace, that defensive nous to play man to man and be able to run 30 or 40 yards back to their goal knowing that they probably win most foot races.
“Man United don’t have that now at this moment in time and I think the recruitment will be looking at that area for sure.
“There’s horses for courses. There are certain players who are good at certain things. Lindelof isn’t someone who you would back in a race back to his own goal from halfway line and I think Maguire is the same.
“I think if you’ve got two like that I think that leaves you open to counter attacks as we’ve seen many times this season. They’ll be looking to sure that area of the team up definitely because I think that will be something that will come back to haunt them over and over again. It’s something that does creep into their game more often than not.”