Ferdinand offers Martinez advice as he tells Ten Hag to drop two Man Utd men from starting XI

Date published: Tuesday 9th August 2022 8:46 - Joe Williams

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand holds a coffee

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand thinks Erik Ten Hag should drop both Fred and Scott McTominay from his starting XI for their next match.

The Red Devils put in a disappointing performance to start the season as Brighton beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford on Sunday to get the Ten Hag era off to the worst possible start.

Despite everyone knowing midfield is one of their biggest weak links, Man Utd started the exact same midfield pairing of Fred and McTominay that they ended last season with.


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Ten Hag and his recruitment team are trying to address the issue in the transfer market but aren’t having much luck so far this summer.

There are rumours that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong – who Man Utd have been chasing for over two months – does not want to make the move to Old Trafford as his contract issues at Barca rumble on.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot is the latest name to be linked with the Red Devils apparently ‘confident’ of sealing a deal for the former Paris Saint-Germain man.

But for the time being they have to put up with what they’ve got and Ferdinand wants to see Lisandro Martinez moved into midfield for their next match.

When asked to name his team for their next Premier League fixture away at Brentford on Saturday, Ferdinand told his Vibe with Five Youtube channel: “In my midfield, I’m going to play Martinez as the holding midfielder and take Fred out. I’m going to play Varane and Maguire [at centre-back].”

Whether he would still keep McTominay or not, Ferdinand added: “I wouldn’t pick McTominay or Fred. Listen, whatever happens, Man United will improve from the first day against Brighton. Things can only get better.”

Man Utd legend Ferdinand was not particularly impressed with Martinez’s debut over the weekend, with Danny Welbeck giving him a torrid time, but he has some advice for the Argentina international.

Ferdinand continued: “He reminds me of Gabi Heinze a little bit, but he’s better on the ball.

“But Harry Kane, Erling Haaland, Darwin Nunez, Chris Wood, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Danny Welbeck… these guys, if I’m them, I go and stand on him [Martinez] when the ball is wide.

“Because of the height difference you just do it and then it’s up to him: can he deal with it?”

Ferdinand offered some advice to Martinez, he said: “Gary Neville wasn’t the tallest, but if the ball was coming across and he knows he’s got a big fella coming in behind him to smash him over the top, before the ball is even there: bang! [hit them] Put them off, they can’t head it cleanly.”

 

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