Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand brutally names one new Liverpool star ‘overhyped’, with comparison to legend unjustified

Ryan Gravenberch and Liverpool team-mate Dominik Szoboszlai

Ryan Gravenberch and Liverpool team-mate Dominik Szoboszlai

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has provided his take on a Liverpool summer signing, suggesting he is ‘overhyped’ and questioning comparisons with Anfield icon Steven Gerrard.

Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch, Alexis Mac Allister and Wataru Endo were the four midfield arrivals at Liverpool over the summer, as the Reds moved to replace the likes of Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Liverpool spent a combined £145million on those four players, with Szoboszlai the most expensive at £60m.

Szoboszlai has made 26 appearances for Liverpool in all competitions this season, chipping in with four goals and three assists. He has impressed Liverpool supporters with his energetic and dominant performances, while his ability to score brilliant goals from range has led to comparisons being drawn with Gerrard.

And on Monday night, Szoboszlai was named as Hungary’s Male Athlete of the Year.

But during an appearance on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Ferdinand claimed it is too early to be heaping so much praise on the Hungarian.

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“I know everyone is hyping him, but I don’t think Dominik Szoboszlai has done [as well as people make out],” Ferdinand said. “He’s a good player but people are saying ‘oh, he’s the next Gerrard!’ and I haven’t seen that yet.

“I see bare of their [fans’] comments. One of my mates in my group always says it. But he is easy on the eye.”

Dominik Szoboszlai battling to recover from injury

Szoboszlai will be hoping to follow in Gerrard’s footsteps by establishing himself as a key part of the Liverpool midfield for years to come. Even if he achieves just a portion of what Gerrard did at Liverpool, he will have had a very successful career.

Unfortunately for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, he has had to operate without the 23-year-old recently. Szoboszlai picked up a hamstring injury during the 4-2 victory over Newcastle United on New Year’s Day and was ruled out for the win against Arsenal on Sunday.

Late last week, Klopp confirmed that Szoboszlai would also miss the League Cup semi-final clash with Fulham on Wednesday.

“Dom is very positive, doesn’t have a lot of pain, but we have to wait a little bit,” the manager said.

When picking up his award in Hungary, Szoboszlai provided a brief update on his recovery. “I’m getting better. The first game of the year didn’t go as planned [for me], but it won’t take long and I’ll be back,” he said.

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