Ferdinand claims McClaren will bring ‘important’ quality that Man Utd have been missing

Joe Williams
Rio Ferdinand speaks about Man Utd

Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand thinks Steve McClaren will give the Red Devils an “important” quality they don’t currently possess.

McClaren is set to be appointed as part of Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff with assistant Mitchell van der Gaag ready to follow his compatriot from Ajax.

Former Newcastle United boss McClaren was Man Utd assistant manager from 1999 to 2001 before leaving to take the manager’s job at Middlesbrough, who he guided to their first ever major trophy in 2004 by winning the League Cup.


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Ten Hag worked under McClaren at FC Twente and now the roles will be reversed when the new campaign begins at Old Trafford in the summer.

And Ferdinand reckons McClaren brings with him an understanding of “what it takes at Man Utd to win” which they are currently lacking.

Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five YouTube channel: “I think he is coming in as a coach, a shoulder to lean on, somebody who can give advice at the right times. Maybe eyes and ears.

“In terms of judging him from his management in previous years gone by, I don’t think it’s irrelevant. What you do get with Steve McClaren is someone who is a football man, loves that game, is so enthusiastic, meticulous, cares about the details.

“Not just from a football point of view but also mentally, and he understands what it takes at Man Utd to win. That’s important.”

Ferdinand added: “I think he will be a good addition. What’s good for Ten Hag is that they have already got a relationship from before which is pure and he will be able to steer him in the right direction.

“I don’t care who you are or where you come from, when you come to Man Utd, especially if you haven’t been at a club like that, of that statute and that size – Ajax are a big club with all due respect but not the size of Man Utd – when you do come into the door here, it takes a bit of getting used to. To have that little bit of help immediately is a real good decision from him.”