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“I don’t blame them” – Rio Ferdinand defends two Man United outcasts despite ‘disappointing’ fall-off



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Credit: Vibe With Five

Manchester United have had many players who they’ve struggled to sell after disappointing spells at Old Trafford and it’s a trend that has continued under Erik ten Hag.

Despite there being much exciting talent amongst the squad at United, there also remains several players who seem to be surplus-to-requirements.

Ten Hag was able to offload the likes of Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, and many young players from the academy, however, there is still work to be done.

United’s deadline day saw them sign four players for a combined £4.3 million. Two loanees, a free transfer, and the back-up goalkeeper Altay Bayindir was the main example that United’s problems in selling players impacted how they could recruit.

Anthony Martial is one player that Ten Hag would’ve likely sold if an acceptable bid came in, even though he is one of few players who can play as the no.9.

The Frenchman’s fitness troubles were evident all of last season and he also missed every pre-season game in the summer. He has also shown that those injuries have impacted his on-field performances when he is available.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand believes that Ten Hag would’ve been excited to see the talent possessed by the 27-year-old when he first came to the club, but that his inconsistencies in performances and availability are the main problems for the striker.

“I know for a fact that when Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff went in there and saw Martial up close and personal, they were like ‘we can see why every manager rates him,'” said Ferdinand on his YouTube channel Vibe With Five. “Because his ability is world class but he can’t put it together.

“Anthony Martial is so talented but he has to deliver consistently, that is what Man Utd No 9s do. They don’t have days off. That is his problem, whether it is fitness or form, he falls off. It is so disappointing and frustrating because he has crazy ability.”

Those issues are exactly why there were no advanced approaches for the player in the summer, who is currently one of the highest earners in the United squad. That also proved to be an issue in the collapsed deal for Harry Maguire to go to West Ham.

The defender’s insistence to be compensated by United for his lost wages should he have completed the £30 million move, but that was not worked out.

Whilst there has been much said about the ambitions of players such as Maguire and Martial, who seemingly opt to stay on their large contracts at Old Trafford instead of moving elsewhere, Ferdinand has claimed that the problem is the club offering out these deals.

There are players allowed to stay at the club a long way past their sell-by date and that is due to the numbers they come in on,” added Ferdinand. “Harry Maguire isn’t leaving because he is on such high wages that they can’t get rid of him and Martial would be similar.

“They are on big money, out-of-form, not playing so they don’t warrant the money they came in on. They aren’t taking a pay-cut and I don’t blame them, I blame the club.”