Ex-Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has criticised current skipper Harry Maguire, questioning whether United can ever win the league with the defence built around him.
Maguire joined the Reds from Leicester in 2019 for £80 million but has struggled for form this season and was dropped for United’s game against Watford at the weekend.
Speaking on his YouTube channel Ferdinand questioned “Is Maguire going to enable you to win the league? That’s a question as well.”
The United legend believes Maguire’s lack of pace is a big issue coupled with how many top teams press defenders higher up the pitch.
He goes on to say, “The thing about someone like Ralf Rangnick and all the top teams now is when they play, they play on the front foot and want to win the ball high.
“Therefore, you need defenders that can defend on the halfway line 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2 if you want security.”
“If you can play 2 vs 2 or 1 vs 1 on the halfway line, that enables you to have more bodies in the opponents half. Hence why teams do that, to win the ball early and be closer to the opposition goal.”
He goes on to praise United’s opponents for the execution of that tactic before questioning, “Can you do that with Maguire?”
“If I’m a quick centre forward or a quick attacker,” he continues, “I would be hanging around where Harry Maguire is.
“For all the good traits he has in his game, that is a big weakness and that is a fundamental of all the top teams, to play 1 vs 1 on the halfway line.”
United are currently struggling to secure a Champions League spot next season.
Although they are still sitting in fourth for the time being, dropped points last weekend allowed rivals West Ham, Tottenham and Arsenal to close the gap with United having played more games than Spurs and The Gunners.