Football News

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford need to be more like Bukayo Saka — Rio Ferdinand

By Ben Green

Published: 14:36, 19 October 2022

Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United duo Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are “not killing full-backs” like Bukayo Saka.

Saka, 21, has started the season like a house on fire as Arsenal lead the early Premier League table. The 20-capped England international has scored four goals and provided a further four assists for the Gunners, including a brace in the club’s recent 3-2 win over Liverpool.

Bukayo Saka news: A source of inspiration for Man Utd duo?

  • Rio Ferdinand has used the example of Bukayo Saka’s wing-wizardry as a template all Man Utd forwards should follow.
  • The ex-Man Utd defender has praised Saka’s ability to “go past” full-backs and ‘skin’ them (click here for full quotes).
  • Saka has attempted the sixth most take-ons of any Premier League forward this season (34), over double Sancho (15) and 11 more than Rashford (23).

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Man Utd, by contrast, have blown hot and cold in these formative stages under Erik ten Hag. The Red Devils are currently fifth in the table and face Tottenham on Wednesday night for a chance to close the gap between themselves and Antonio Conte’s men in third.

Sancho looked to have started the season brightly after scoring against Liverpool and Leicester City, but he has since fired a blank in the proceeding three games, and was left on the bench earlier this month as Man Utd beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.

Rashford, likewise, has had moments of success this term, notably a brace against Arsenal and the winner against Liverpool. But, he too has failed to find the net in his last three matches, and was recently dropped for the 0-0 against Newcastle at the weekend.

“In this form, you can’t look past Saka on that right-wing spot,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five podcast. “He’s a winger who, when he gets it, I’ve watched him a couple of times live this year as well. His first instinct and intention is to go past you. We [Man United] don’t seem to have the imagination in those areas.

“At the moment, we get in those positions and unfortunately for us, our wide players are turning away from that. They’re not killing full-backs. They’re not skinning them. The best teams wait for that moment in a game, and you might only get two or three of those moments where they stand the full-back up. Saka does it at the moment as well as anyone in the league and says right, I’m going to ghost you. At the moment, our wide players aren’t doing that.”