Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United should target Max Aarons from recently-relegated Norwich City this summer, suggesting the right-back would offer Erik ten Hag a “Chris Smalling-type signing”.
A new era was ushered in at Old Trafford on Monday afternoon as Ten Hag was unveiled as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent successor following a period of unrest on the pitch and uncertainty off it under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Major surgery is required in the summer if Man Utd are to be considered genuine Premier League title contenders next term, with a complete squad overhaul expected to take place when the transfer window opens in just a few weeks’ time.
Despite being linked with some seriously elite names, Ferdinand believes the new man in the dugout should explore the possibility of bringing a player who has twice been relegated from the Premier League to the club this summer.
With uncertainty over Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s future in the North West, Aarons has emerged as a right-back who could, not only offer the sort of explosive, attacking verve associated a typical Ten Hag full-back, but also present a ‘Smalling-esque signing’ in terms of longevity at the club.
“Someone like Max Aarons you could put him like a Chris Smalling-type signing where they come in and they have an impact,” Ferdinand told his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show.
“They may not be straight starters immediately but they go and they stay there for 10 years and have a really good career and they impact the club at different levels.”
Now 22, Aarons has appeared 165 times for Norwich since bursting onto the scene at Carrow Road in 2018, most recently featuring 34 times in the Premier League as the Canaries suffered the ignominy of relegation for the fourth time in eight years.