Rio Ferdinand jokes Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will struggle to live up to his partnership with Nemanja Vidic at Man United

Rio Ferdinand has joked that Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will struggle to form a partnership as strong as the one he had with Nemanja Matic at Manchester United.

Ferdinand and Vidic established one of the most solid defensive units in Premier League history under Sir Alex Ferguson, where they won the title five times together.

Since the departure of Ferguson in 2013, the Red Devils have failed to establish a defensive pairing as strong – but they are hoping new summer arrival Harry Maguire, alongside Victor Lindelof, can go some way to matching the two Premier League greats.

NINTCHDBPICT000512823704 e1565865890610 - Rio Ferdinand jokes Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof will struggle to live up to his partnership with Nemanja Vidic at Man United
Maguire has had a decent start to his United career
Getty Images – Getty

“I’d love them to be somewhere near as good but I think it would be difficult, if I’m honest,” Ferdinand joked on talkSPORT.

“They’re their own men and they’ll want to be talked about in their own way.

“They don’t need the added pressure of having to live up to anyone else.

“The signs have been promising so far. I spoke about Maguire when he arrived and he’s the man that has to come in and lead and take responsibility for the back four . He needs a bit of time to settle in.”

Ferdinand also admitted he was pleased to see the back of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez at Old Trafford.

The two forwards both recently sealed moves to Inter Milan, with Lukaku joining permanently and Sanchez on loan, leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer alarmingly short of options up top.

“It’s got thinner and that could be a concern,” Ferdinand told talkSPORT.

“I’m quite pleased on one hand because I’m starting to see what Ole wants the makeup of this squad to be and he’s starting to shape it the way he wants.

“I remember an interview he did at the end of last season, he said he wants this team to be the fittest team, to work hard and want to be here.

“He’s setting the tone and that’s a vital part of any football club.

“There has to be a method, a philosophy and an ideology of what you want it to be. If people don’t fit it – goodbye! I’m happy with that.

“For far too long at Man United, some people thought they were doing the club a favour by being there. He wants to change that dynamic and he’s doing that by making big decisions.

“There’s going to be uneasiness in that squad now. Big players thrive under those conditions.”


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