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Rio Ferdinand hails ‘Hakimi-esque’ Tyrell Malacia for getting the best out of Jadon Sancho

By Ben Green

Published: 19:40, 3 September 2022

Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on summer recruit Tyrell Malacia for having an ‘Achraf Hakimi’ impact at Manchester United by getting the best out of Jadon Sancho.

The 23-year-old Dutchman has been one of the standout performers so far for the Red Devils, making the No. 3 berth his own at Old Trafford as he continues to keep Luke Shaw out of the side in these opening weeks.

The Rotterdam-born full-back joined from boyhood club Feyenoord at the start of July and has made an immediate impression in the North West, starting in each of the club’s three triumphs this campaign having been on the bench for their defeats to Brighton and Brentford (though he did make a substitute appearance in both).

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It will come as no surprise that Man Utd’s rejuvenation following those concerning defeats has coincided with Malacia’s call-up to the first team reckoning. He has formed a near-telepathic understanding with Sancho, who has been shuffled across to the left wing, a notion not lost on Ferdinand.

Sancho famously rose to prominence at Borussia Dortmund, where his partnership with then Real Madrid loanee Hakimi on the right devastated the division, with the duo working in tandem to dominate the flanks, and Ferdinand sees parallels with Ten Hag’s current set-up.

“I think with Jadon, the team has to function for him to be able to perform,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “There are some players that, no matter what happens, they can go and do something that will change the game.

“I think Jadon needs his team to be functioning really well. He needs Malacia to be flying up and down the wing like [Achraf] Hakimi was at Dortmund, to create that decoy and get someone to bounce the ball off when looking inside.

“He is an intelligent football player, he has a great weight of pass, and he needs runners and movement around him to make sure he affects the game.”

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