Football News

“Saul Niguez would be a perfect fit” — Rio Ferdinand urges Man Utd to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder

By Ben Green

Published: 16:50, 17 August 2021

Rio Ferdinand believes Atletico Madrid’s midfield dynamo Saul Niguez is the “perfect fit” for Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has strengthened this summer with the signings of Jadon Sancho (£73m), Raphael Varane (£41m) and Tom Heaton (free), but Ferdinand believes the club must upgrade in the central midfield area.

The Red Devils started the new Premier League campaign with a double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay, a combination regularly utilised last season, with the duo working well in tandem as the 2020/21 runners-up put Leeds to the sword with an emphatic 5-1 win.

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Varane, 28, was presented before the match to a packed Old Trafford audience, while Sancho, 21, was handed his club debut in the second half with the game already beyond the reach of Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Despite the victory, and manner of it, Ferdinand still believes improvements can be made to Solskjaer’s squad, particularly in central midfield, and he has name-dropped Saul Niguez as the ideal player for Solskjaer’s set-up.

“I think if the right player becomes available for the right price, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will go and get him,” Ferdinand said on his FIVE Youtube channel.

“The problem is who is out there and who could be a good fit? Saul Niguez would be a perfect fit and his asking price was £160 million ($221m) a couple of years ago, now it’s more like £40-50m ($55-69m).

“In today’s game that’s a decent price for someone like him who has Champions League experience. I’m a big fan of his. If you can get him in this window, I think you do it.”

Saul, 26, is renowned for his versatility in Madrid, regularly playing across the pitch in various roles under Diego Simeone, and most recently partnering Koke in midfield during the club’s opening La Liga win over Celta Vigo, in which he provided the assist for Angel Correa’s winner.

Industrious, skilful and versatile, there is no question Saul would significantly enhance Solskjaer’s midfield, either as a progressive box-to-box, deep-lying tempo-setter or functional No. 6. The Spaniard would give Solskjaer options to tweak his system and find the right combinations.

Declan Rice would be a massive addition”

Ferdinand has been no stranger to fanning the flames on a Man Utd move for Declan Rice, and he has once again made the suggestion.

West Ham’s stand-in skipper is the vital artery of David Moyes’ side, bringing leadership, composure and resilience to his midfield, three qualities Ferdinand believes would serve well at Old Trafford.

He continued: “I think Declan Rice would be a massive addition to this squad. I’m a massive fan of his. I would love to see him keep progressing.

“He was brilliant for England in the summer. I think if West Ham keep him they’ve done unbelievably well. I think he does well staying at West Ham or if he goes.”