Former Manchester United defender and BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand has revealed who he’d like to see his old club sign in the summer transfer window – but has also praised the more immediate acquisition of Wout Weghorst on a six-month loan as a fit for manager Erik ten Hag’s style of play.
Weghorst has arrived at United on loan from Burnley, after his temporary spell with Turkish giants Besiktas was cut short this week because of United’s interest. The club have been looking for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, and have signed the Dutchman for the remainder of the season with no purchase option.
The club will look to buy a higher profile striking option in the summer, but with Weghorst brought in before the Manchester derby against rivals City on BT Sport on Saturday lunch time, Ferdinand thinks he could be an effective short-term fix.
Ferdinand told 90min: “I think this is a Ten Hag signing, and it is actually just is going against what United were doing before – we were buying Falcao, Zlatan, we were buying names maybe before going ‘does this guy fit the way we want to play?’.
“This is very much not a fashionable signing, it’s not one that rolls off the tongue. But I think if you look at Ten Hag’s history, you look at Ajax, he took [Sebastien] Haller, who no one was taking in the Premier League, off of West Ham, and he becomes one of the most feared strikers in Holland.
“But also in Champions League football, he was up there with the top strikers in terms of goals in the couple of seasons he was there.
“That type of player, a Weghorst, suits the way that Erik ten Hag wants to play if you look at Haller as the one example, so you can see why he would bring him. He’s got to have something about him.
“I don’t think you can judge him by the Burnley cameo [2 goals in 20 games in the Premier League last season], and I just think it’s about styles for Erik ten Hag, would he be able to fit into the way we play? In the way I want to play? Yes.
On this edition of TPL, Scott Saunders & Rob Blanchette discuss Man Utd’s chances in the Manchester derby, and hear from Rio Ferdinand on Wout Weghorst and his ideal centre forward signing for MUFC.
“Does he press, by the way? It’s a big part of Ten Hag’s football and this geezer does press. He’s good at that. So you can see the reason why his name would come up – he’s not the fashionable answer but it could be the effective answer.”
United will be hoping Weghorst can help them seal a place in the top four and win a trophy in the remainder of the current campaign, but attention was soon turned to who United should look to as their long term answer up front if the stars align in the coming months.
Ferdinand was adamant in his first choice.
“There’s only one!” he joked. “There’s only one! Mbappe, that’s it! The only person you go for is Mbappe, he’s the best.”
When pushed for a slightly more attainable target for the current carnation of United, Ferdinand looked to a rival Premier League striker as the right answer: “That’s the problem. I’m talking dream case scenario. If we’re talking realistically, Man Utd are probably not going to be his next destination.
“If you can get Harry Kane, you’re guaranteed 20 goals, minimum. Job done.”
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