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“That doesn’t seem to work”- Erik ten Hag told not to start Man United duo despite selection headache

Scott McTominay of Manchester United celebrates with teammate Fred of Manchester United after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Manchester United and Club Brugge at Old Trafford on February 27, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom
Scott McTominay and Fred of Manchester United. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand does not feel Fred and Scott McTominay will start for Manchester United vs Arsenal

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand does not feel Fred and Scott McTominay will start for the Red Devils against Arsenal in the absence of Casemiro.

The Old Trafford side will visit the Emirates Stadium Saturday (22 January) in the Premier League. However, the Manchester-based club’s summer 2022 signing from Real Madrid is suspended after picking up a yellow card against Crystal Palace.

Speaking ahead of the match to William Hill (h/t Express), Ferdinand, who spent 12 years of his playing career at United, believes Erik ten Hag will play Lisandro Martinez in the midfield. The ex-defender has not been impressed by Fred and McTominay’s partnership.

Rio Ferdinand does not believe Fred and McTominay will start vs Arsenal for Manchester United.
Rio Ferdinand does not believe Fred and McTominay will start vs Arsenal for Manchester United.

“With him [Casemiro] out, I’d imagine Erik ten Hag will shuffle the pack with Luke Shaw back at centre back, [Tyrell] Malacia at left back and [Lisandro] Martinez into central midfield.

“You’d think that is the way he’ll go, and in all honesty, I’d be pretty shocked if Ten Hag went with Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield as that doesn’t seem to work.”

The Brazilian and Scottish duo have been partnered in the middle of the park by various managers over the years. However, the two have left a lot to be desired on most occasions.

Fred signed for the Red Devils from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2018. The 29-year-old has lost his place in the starting lineup since the Dutch manager’s arrival. However, his performance in the recent Manchester derby was inspiring.

On the other hand, McTominay has made his way through the youth ranks at the Old Trafford side. However, the 26-year-old has been a bit-part player this season as well.

As for Casemiro, he has been one of our best players in the current campaign. The Brazil international has been the preferred choice for Ten Hag in the engine room alongside Christian Eriksen.

Unfortunately, United will have to face table-toppers Arsenal without the 30-year-old. Martinez has played in the number six position under the Dutch manager during their Ajax days. However, it remains to be seen whether the gaffer will opt to play the 2022 World Cup in the midfield.

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The partnership of Fred and McTominay has not instilled much confidence in the fanbase over the years. But it will be interesting to see if Ten Hag will partner either the Brazilian or Scottish national with Eriksen against the Gunners.

Written by Aheed Abrar

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