Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand admits the club made a mistake in letting Jonny Evans leave, even if he is not a long-term player
Former Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand believes Jonny Evans is not a long-term solution at the club, as he doubts his position as a starter at Old Trafford.
The Northern Irish defender was roped in by the Red Devils this summer as a mentor to the youngsters and to provide quality senior experience in the squad.
However, due to the unfortunate injury to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez being unavailable against Burnley, Ten Hag opted to use the 35-year-old player in the line-up alongside Victor Lindelof.
It is obvious that the fans will be puzzled by the old-school look of United’s back line with some rather surprising names at the back. Even Ferdinand thinks about it the same way, considering the veteran defender to be a respectable player but not a long-term solution.
He also mentioned that it would be difficult for the former Leicester City star to get a place in the Foxes’ starting line-up at the current moment.
While talking to TNT Sports (as quoted by the Manchester Evening News), the United icon said:
“He’s not the long-term answer and he would tell you that himself, he is an honest player. But right now, if you’re an opposition player and you see Evans, no disrespect to him, you’re thinking, ‘He couldn’t get in the Leicester team, and he’s playing here today. I fancy my chances of giving him a right go today’.”
Ferdinand’s words have the truth hidden behind them as Evans would find it difficult to be a direct starter at his age.
The Northern Irish star did prove his doubters wrong by providing an inch-perfect cross for Bruno Fernandes to score against Burnley and also had a goal ruled out in the first half.
However, there is no guarantee that he will be a starter once Varane and Martinez are fit enough to start games on a regular basis.
Lindelof is also ahead of the veteran player in the pecking order, and Harry Maguire’s position remains uncertain at this point. No disrespect to Evans; he has been a loyal servant to the club and also proved his potential with the Foxes last season.
His signing has helped Ten Hag rotate his players, and the centre-back has also come in handy during times when the manager doesn’t have enough options at the back.
Evan’s presence will also help the youngsters in the squad, and this is one of the reasons the club handed him a one-year contract.
His experience is vital, and he will be aiming to help the Red Devils as much as he can during his tenure at the Theatre of Dreams.
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The fans will hope that Man United’s preferred centre-back pairing will be fit in their upcoming games and not put too much pressure on the veteran star.