Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defence not strong enough to challenge

Rio Ferdinand: Manchester United defence not strong enough to challenge

Manchester United fan favourite Rio Ferdinand has predicted his former club won’t go too far in the Champions League due to their poor defence.

The centre-back positions in particular were the topic of much debate, even until now, with Jose Mourinho being left empty handed in terms of recruits.

The Portuguese manager had made it clear his desire to sign a proven defender with Toby Alderweireld said to be the top target but he’s had to settle for his current options.

Ferdinand believes those options simply aren’t good enough to carry United into the latter stages of the competition.

Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are the Red Devils senior centre-backs.

According to the Telegraph, Rio said: “The United defence is not strong enough and they not reinforced, so I don’t see them doing well. They have not changed.

“They have got a Superman in goal but with the guys in front of him there are inconsistencies in terms of personnel every week. You can’t build a defence on people that are not going to be reliable.

“You have got two wingers [Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia] playing full-back, and they have been the better defenders. Has [Victor] Lindelof worked? No.

“Has [Eric] Bailly worked? No. [Chris] Smalling and [Phil] Jones, they have not kicked on. I think United will get out of the group, but not much further.”

It’s fair to say there haven’t been any outstanding performers for Mourinho with Lindelof and Bailly getting the season kicked off terribly.

Manchester United lost two of their three opening fixtures due to some defensive errors and in turn the former Chelsea manager has chopped and changed his defence.

Victor and Smalling have featured in back to back wins against Burnley and Watford though one would imagine they would be dropped should they underperform in the future.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.