Manchester United ignored Rio Ferdinand’s advice to sign one of the Premier League’s best new defenders when he was a still a Championship player – and now the pundit thinks the Red Devils may regret missing out.
Ben Godfrey has made a brilliant start to life at Everton since signing from Norwich in a £26m deal over the summer. So good has his form been, that Godfrey is being tipped to make the next England squad.
Indeed, his ball-carrying skills arguably make him the nearest thing to Ferdinand in the modern game.
Ferdinand though is disappointed his recommendation to sign Godfrey back in 2019 was ignored by United.
Opening up on the saga on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand claims United could have landed Godfrey for just £12m had they acted on his advice.
However, as he explains, United weren’t the only club tracking the 23-year-old.
He said: “Anyone had a chance to sign him because Norwich were going to let him go.
“Listen, I told you before I’d spoken to various people at different clubs, United being one of them as well.
“They could’ve had Ben when he was about 12 or 15 mil, when he just went to Norwich. He’d been there about half a season or a season.
“But listen, there’s so many players we could look at and say, they were missed at that point and they had to pay more.
“That’s just life, that’s part of it, and there’s different judges. 99 people can judge a player and not like him and one just says, ‘bang, he’s for me’. It’s just that I’ve seen these boys grow so I know what’s under their bonnet. I know what they’re carrying in their toolbox.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to make the signing of a new defender his top focus this summer. United recently snubbed the chance to sign Dayot Upamecano for a very specific reason.
Scholes slams Victor Lindelof
Certainly United’s need for a new defender is seen by pundit Paul Scholes.
The former United midfielder even named and shamed Victor Lindelof as ‘timid’ and a reason for their failure to challenge for top trophies.
“I think that’s what’s stopping them from being a team that can challenge for the league, or possibly the Champions League, challenge for the top trophies, let’s say.
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“Everywhere else, I think their midfield and forward players are really exciting. He’s built a really exciting team that are capable of scoring goals.”
Picking out Lindelof in particular, Scholes added: “I think in the middle of defence, Lindelof especially, they lack authority.
“He can be bullied, sometimes he’s not strong enough. I think both [Lindelof and Harry Maguire] can be very timid. They don’t really command or bully centre-forwards, they don’t really demand from the rest of the team. I think these two positions in particular are massive for teams that are going to win the league.”