Arsenal way behind Man Utd in key area as Ten Hag favourite ‘wipes the floor’ with Gunners man

Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro of Man Utd

Rio Ferdinand has given his verdict on two midfielders from Manchester United and Arsenal, explaining why Erik ten Hag’s side have the advantage in that particular position in the title race.

Man Utd and Arsenal fans will both be extremely happy right now. Ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford is going brilliantly, with Marcus Rashford firing the Red Devils to a 10-match unbeaten run. They have moved up to third in the Premier League table despite being held by Crystal Palace on Wednesday evening.

United could also win their first trophy since 2017, as they remain in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

Arsenal are doing even better, sitting top of the Premier League with an eight-point lead on second-placed Manchester City. While they were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Brighton, the Gunners are still in with a shout of winning the Europa League and FA Cup on top of the Premier League.

United and Arsenal have both had massive lows in recent years, which includes finishing outside of the Champions League qualification spots.

But now there is real optimism at both clubs that they might be about to return to their former glory.

Due to how Man Utd and Arsenal have risen up this campaign, some pundits and supporters are drawing comparisons between the two sides.

There is some debate over who might be the best central defensive midfielder in England. Casemiro, Manchester City’s Rodri and Thomas Partey are all in with a shout on current form.

Rio Ferdinand discusses Man Utd, Arsenal players

Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand has given his verdict on the position, backing Casemiro all the way. He even reckons the Brazilian ‘wipes the floor’ with his Arsenal counterpart – although the two will not get the chance to go head-to-head on Sunday after Casemiro picked up a ban at Palace.

“I think the importance to their teams, you could argue both sides quite equally. But then, when you throw the stats in, Casemiro wipes him away,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

“I don’t think Partey could do what Casemiro does, I don’t think Partey is good enough defensively to do what Casemiro is doing.

“I don’t think he has the impact defensively [for Arsenal as Casemiro has] for Man United.”

Although, Ferdinand did praise Partey for his huge influence on Arsenal, going on to call him a ‘bargain’ signing.

“On the ball he’s doing more, he’s dictating play for Arsenal,” the pundit added.

Ferdinand praises ‘unbelievable’ Partey trait

“He’s controlling the tempo, he’s actually playing passes I didn’t know he had. His passing has been unbelievable. How much did he cost, £40m? That’s a bargain.”

There is good reason to suggest Casemiro is just a step above Partey right now. But that should not take anything away from the Arsenal star, who has been exceptional this season.

Partey has had to deal with several injuries during his time at the Emirates. But he has remained fully fit for the most part this term and Mikel Arteta is now seeing the benefits.

Partey looks solid in the middle of the pitch alongside Granit Xhaka. And some credit must also be given to Partey’s midfield partner.

Xhaka’s Arsenal career appeared to be over at one point, due to him falling out with the fans and picking up too many red cards. However, the 30-year-old has completely changed things around and is now one of Arteta’s most important stars. His experience is vital in helping the younger players to mature and improve.

Meanwhile, a potential Man Utd signing is ‘advanced’, and the player could soon join Ten Hag’s squad from an English rival.