Rio Ferdinand admits Man Utd pair make him ‘fear for his life’ in some scenarios

Rio Ferdinand admits Man Utd pair make him ‘fear for his life’ in some scenarios


Lindelof and Maguire have been Solskjaer’s first-choice pairing (Picture: Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand says he ‘fears for his life’ when Manchester United centre-back pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are exposed high up the pitch.

The duo were solid for the majority of last season as the Red Devils boasted the third-best defensive record in the Premier League, conceding just 36 goals.

However, there have been multiple occasions where their lack of pace has been taken advantage of.

Ferdinand says the pair can easily be exposed in some situations (Picture: Getty Images)

The most recent example was in United’s 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new campaign, where Maguire and Lindelof were run ragged by the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend.

Red Devils legend Ferdinand feels that the pair can be too easily exploited, and therefore they are not up to the required level for Ole Gunnar Solskaer’s side to win the biggest trophies.

‘Is it good enough? I’d probably say no, if you’re trying to win the top competitions,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport. 

‘Yes, last season they had a good defensive record, but I just see moments in games where they get opened up, they get physically dominated at times, especially in terms of pace, especially if their protection isn’t what you’d expect it to be if the game opens up a little bit.

‘If the game opens up and they’re on the halfway line and they’re playing 1v1 or 2v2, then I fear for my life in that situation. If the team shape is fine and it’s all set up properly, then they look a decent pairing.’

Ferdinand’s former United team-mate Paul Scholes agrees and also suggests that when Maguire and Lindelof have that midfield protection in front of them, it can hinder the team’s ability to attack fluently.

‘When they have the two [Fred and McTominay] in front of them, they look different,’ Scholes said. ‘They had that little bit of protection that’s helped them. Not all of them [need it].

‘You’re a defender for a reason, you’re supposed to be OK one-on-one, sometimes it can take away the attacking side of the team which it has done in the last couple of games, especially against Chelsea on Saturday.

‘Fred and McTominay have definitely made them look better players, and they’ll prefer that.’

MORE: Rio Ferdinand rips into Dayot Upamecano’s ‘nightmare’ performance amid Manchester United transfer links

MORE: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rates Donny van de Beek’s performance in Manchester United’s win over Leipzig

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