Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ferdinand explains Man Utd struggler’s woes with comparison to legend Ferguson couldn’t make work

Man Utd defenders Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire

Rio Ferdinand shed light on why Harry Maguire is suffering at Man Utd when comparing him to a superstar that failed at Old Trafford.

Maguire has endured a torrid campaign at club level this season. The centre-half has become a lightning rod for criticism and was recently booed by England fans when his name was read out over the Wembley tannoy in the last international break.

That was despite Maguire never putting a foot wrong for the Three Lions. Indeed, the difference in performance for club and country has been stark.

And speaking to his FIVE YouTube channel, Rio Ferdinand described Maguire as “phenomenal” and “unreal” for England.

The former defender then explained why Maguire is struggling to replicate that form for Manchester United.

“In an England shirt he’s been nothing but phenomenal,” said Ferdinand. “He’s been unreal. You can’t say he’s a dead player, he’s been unbelievable for England.

“What I’m saying is, for England he’s been great, but they play a particular way of football that probably suits him.”

Maguire situation compared to Pique

Expanding further on that narrative, Ferdinand then cited the example of Barcelona and Spain legend, Gerard Pique.

Pique was on United’s books between 2004-08, yet failed to make the grade under Sir Alex Ferguson.

That ultimately saw him return to Barcelona in 2008 before becoming one of the modern greats for both club and country.

“Gerard Pique was at Man Utd,” continued Ferdinand. “You could argue that he might not have had the career that he’s had at Barcelona if he stayed at Man Utd because of the way he plays.

“It’s like boxing, styles make fights – it’s the same in football. The way of Man Utd’s football, and the way that they are trying to play, hasn’t suited him.

“Also form and confidence. His confidence has taken a big knock and I don’t care who you are, you could be Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Mbappe all these players – if their confidence is low they are not the same player.”