Rio Ferdinand urges Manchester United to prioritize signing a partner for Harry Maguire
Despite the progress we have shown this season, there are some visible chinks in our armour. Among them is the central defender position alongside Maguire.
While the United skipper is an automatic choice when fit, the same cannot be said of our other centre-backs. In Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe, we have strength in numbers but not necessarily the required quality.
It was on show yesterday night against Leicester City. With Maguire out injured, neither Bailly nor Tuanzebe showed the leadership required to suggest we can hold our own in the skipper’s absence.
“I think Manchester United’s prime position for them to strengthen, to really improve and become a team who can compete, is centre back.”
The jury will always be out on Maguire since he is the world’s most expensive defender. The 28-year-old has however held his own and has contributed positively to United’s progress.
“To get a partner for Harry Maguire who you go, “actually every week he produces, he’s there.”
An existing blueprint?
United are a team on the rise and could make the final plunge if they secure one or two world-class players. Building from the back is a proven concept and both Liverpool and Manchester City have done it of late.
Securing Virgil van Dijk saw the Merseysiders evolve into something more balanced while Ruben Dias has plugged the holes at the back for Pep Guardiola this season.
United do have the third-best defence in the league this season. However, statistics don’t present the whole picture as we have looked vulnerable at times.
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The margin for error in the Premier League is small and United cannot afford to take things for granted.
While securing Edinson Cavani’s future has given us some leeway in the hunt for a striker, the same urgency should be shown in bringing in a defender. We cannot afford to waste the progress we have made this season.
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