Monday, March 4News That Matters

Ferdinand names Arsenal player Man Utd should have signed this summer

Rio Ferdinand is still lamenting Manchester United’s failure to compete for the signing of Declan Rice in the summer transfer window.

The Red Devils had been tracking the England international for the majority of his career and positioned themselves as one of the front runners to land the now former West Ham skipper.

Rice appeared to drop a major hint last year that he was keen on a move by United by hailing Old Trafford as one of his favourite grounds to play at, but ultimately took the decision to remain in London and sign for the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s decision to spend a club-record £105million on Rice has been quickly vindicated with his midfield linchpin delivering a series of outstanding displays at the heart of Arsenal’s engine room.

The Gunners, who currently sit top of the table following Tuesday’s dramatic win over Luton, now look set to challenge for the title again and Ferdinand has been left to contemplate the transformative effect Rice would’ve had on his old club.

After United’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea, Ferdinand told Vibe with Five: ‘Declan Rice, I said it before Man Utd he was the player I would’ve 100% gone and got.

‘You could argue there’s midfielders with more ability than him but I would argue that it’s only Jude Bellingham that comes near him in terms of being able to get into a dressing room and trying to get control of that dressing room and get the respect of that dressing room on day two, three, four, straight away.

‘Not only with performances and standards and helping with the culture and the environment but the attitude and the likeability factor, the respect factor that he would get straight away.

‘That’s why I thought he more than anybody it was important that Man United should’ve gone and got and they allowed Arsenal to go and get him.’

The victory against Chelsea last night alleviated the pressure on Erik ten Hag after Saturday’s loss to Newcastle. The United boss maintained that his team’s performance was ample proof that there is no crisis.

Ten Hag said: “Crisis? Not for us. We keep calm, look at the process where we know where we have to build. We are going in the right direction.

‘We don’t get distracted (by) criticism around us, but we are very critical on ourselves. We are not quickly satisfied and happy, we always want to do better. We have to improve a lot if we want to be successful – but this team is capable of being successful.’

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