Manchester United face a big rebuilding job if they are to challenge cross-town rivals Manchester City for the Premier League title next season. And former United defender Rio Ferdinand has highlighted the key area Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United board must focus on in order to set up the Old Trafford club as bonafide contenders in 2021/22.
Speaking on BT Sport after United’s 2-1 home defeat to Leicester on Tuesday night saw them surrender the Premier League title race to Pep Guardiola’s City, Ferdinand looked at Solskjaer’s team selection for the game, where the Norwegian made 10 changes to the side, and saw the key difference between the make-up of the squads at the two Manchester clubs.
“You see the team, if they change the squad, Manchester City can do this, they can do this and be comfortable,” Ferdinand explained.
“They wouldn’t look like a team that’s out of sorts and has been thrown together.
“If Man City change their team like this, they just look like the Man City that play in the Premier League with their first 11.
“You don’t see a change because of the quality, the depth in their squad.
“Man United, to get to that level, yes, Ole’s perfectly right, they have to invest in the transfer market and I imagine they will.”
Ferdinand then addressed the crucial area in the team where he feels United are in most desperate need for quality, as he highlighted the heart of the Red Devils defence as an area in need of improvement.
“We spoke off-air, me and Joleon, I think Manchester United’s prime position, for them to become a team that can compete, is centre-back,” he stated.
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“To get a partner for Harry Maguire, and he produces every week.
“At the moment, I think there’s too many players, centre-forward especially, who are looking when they go in that tunnel who smell a chance.
“Dias and Stones at the moment, in the last six months, teams are thinking it’s going to be really difficult.
“I don’t think they get that feeling right now when they play Manchester United.”