Football News

“You can’t say he’s a dead player” — Rio Ferdinand compares Harry Maguire’s situation at Man Utd to Gerard Pique’s

By Ben Green

"You can’t say he’s a dead player" — Rio Ferdinand compares Harry Maguire’s situation at Man Utd to Gerard Pique’s

Published: 17:17, 12 April 2022

Rio Ferdinand believes a stylistic clash may be hindering Harry Maguire’s form at Manchester United, one comparable to Gerard Pique’s during his spell at Old Trafford during the formative stages of his career.

The world’s most expensive defender has endured a difficult season at the club, regularly coming under the spotlight and receiving widespread criticism for a string of below-par performances as Ralf Rangnick’s men flounder outside the Premier League top four.

The frustration from Man Utd fans filtered over to England during the international break as the 29-year-old was jeered at Wembley in the nation’s 3-0 win over Ivory Coast, leading to backlash from Gareth Southgate and a number of Three Lion players.

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Ferdinand has now leapt to the defence of Maguire as well, with the ex-Man Utd centre-back praising his form for England whilst suggesting his on-pitch struggles for his club may be a result of a clash in playing styles, one that Pique endured during his time at Old Trafford.

“In an England shirt he’s been nothing but phenomenal. He’s been unreal. You can’t say he’s a dead player, he’s been unbelievable for England,” Ferdinand explained on his YouTube channel FIVE.

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

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“Gerard Pique was at Man Utd, 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.”