Rio Ferdinand claims Man United have no leaders in their squad

Rio Ferdinand slams the lack of leadership in the Manchester United squad

Rio Ferdinand
Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand (Photo: BT Sport)

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United have a lack of leaders in their squad, insisting that Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes are not captain material.

The Red Devils eased to a 4-1 victory over Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Tuesday night courtesy of goals from Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James.

Fernandes netted twice against the Turkish side to leave Manchester United on the brink of qualification to the Champions League knockout stage ahead of the visit of Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford next Wednesday.

Manchester United have endured a difficult start to the season after the 20-time English champions collected 13 points from their opening eight games to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in 10th place in the table.

Maguire’s leadership has been questioned on a number of occasions this season due to his mixed performances on the pitch and an off-field controversy before the 2020-21 season started.

Fernandes has worn the captain’s armband in Maguire’s absence but Ferdinand doesn’t believe Manchester United’s free-scoring playmaker is captain material.

“We were there the other day watching this game (West Brom),” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“It’s not just about Ole on the sidelines, or Mike Phelan or Michael Carrick talking on the sidelines, but sometimes you need a player.

“Bruno, who you don’t mind giving the ball away because he is the creative spark right, but he gave the ball away very cheaply probably about four times before half-time.

“I am sitting there looking around the team thinking who is going to be onto him? Who is going to be telling him? I would have been screaming.”

Asked whether Fernandes and Maguire show signs of being leaders, Ferdinand replied:

“I don’t think they are to be honest. If you are being brutal, I don’t think any of them have shown any signs.

“Maybe Bruno – a new player coming in and taking responsibility in interviews, and on the pitch you can see he demands the ball and takes responsibility that way – but I don’t see anybody who is going to ruffle feathers or pull someone aside and say ‘listen, you have given possession away cheaply the last three times, sort yourself out’.

“Having no fans in the stadium is disgusting and we hate it but it has opened my eyes to see that there aren’t many leaders playing football at the moment and Man United are suffering from that.”

Manchester United will make the trip to Southampton in their next Premier League fixture as the Red Devils take on a Saints side with four points more than Solskjaer’s men this season.

The Red Devils will take on PSG at Old Trafford next Wednesday before a trip to West Ham on Saturday 5 December.

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