Ferdinand slams Merson over Man Utd ‘panic’ buy criticism as he makes Sabitzer ‘chump’ claim

Date published: Wednesday 1st February 2023 8:34 - Joe Williams

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand looks serious

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand says Paul Merson’s comments about the signing of Marcel Sabitzer “stink of someone who hasn’t seen him play”.

The Red Devils acted fast on deadline day to bring in the Austria international on loan until the end of the season from Bayern Munich after finding out they could be without Christian Eriksen until May.

Sabitzer moved to Bayern Munich from RB Leipzig in August 2021 for €16m but he has failed to become a regular starter under Julian Nagelsmann.

And Merson claimed yesterday that Sabitzer is a “fourth rate” Bayern Munich player and insists that Man Utd have made a “panic” buy.

“He doesn’t get in the Bayern Munich team, he’s way off that,” Merson told Sky Sports. “I know the two in midfield are cemented but if he was that good, he’d be pushing.

“Again it goes back to panic. There was no interest in him on January 1, now it’s a panic, Eriksen’s just got injured and it’s a panic and you’re bringing fourth rate Bayern Munich players in. For me, I’m not sure about that.

“This lad wasn’t on the radar before, he doesn’t get in the Bayern Munich team. If I’m a Manchester United fan I’d be looking and thinking he’s not in their first team so why would we want him in our team. Are there players there already who are better than him?”

But Ferdinand has hit out at Merson for his comments with the Man Utd legend insisting that Sabitzer will be a “really good signing” for the Red Devils.

“I am absolutely delighted with it,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel. “If I was trying to get a short-term replacement for Eriksen at the drop of a hat, Sabitzer is the player I would get.

“I watched a hell of a lot of this player when he was at RB Leipzig and he was sensational. He was integral to everything they did.

“Yes he’s gone to Bayern and hasn’t tore it up there or become a regular but the players he’s behind are big, household names.

“He will be a really good signing for Man United. He’s an experienced player who has played in big games, Champions League games.

“For me, those comments [from Paul Merson] stink of someone who hasn’t seen him play and who wouldn’t know who he is or if he’s left or right-footed because you can’t say it’s a bad signing.

“This guys knows how to play football. You don’t get signed by Bayern Munich if you’re a chump. He’s a really, really good footballer. Manchester United couldn’t have done any better, I don’t think.”

READ MORE: Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd among the Premier League 2023 January transfer window winners


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