Jadon Sancho and Antony ‘have no imagination’ and should ‘kill full-backs’, says Rio Ferdinand as he tells Man United duo to look to Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka for inspiration
- Ferdinand admitted he was frustrated with United’s wingers not hiring defenders
- Antony and Jadon Sancho struggled to beat Newcastle defenders in a 0-0 draw
- It has become a theme where United players are reluctant to take on fullbacks
- Ferdinand says they should watch Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka to see how it’s done
- He believes Saka will be a shoo-in for England when the World Cup starts
Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United’s wingers ‘have fantasy’, while Jadon Sancho and Antony have yet to show their top form under Erik ten Hag.
Both players – who signed for a combined £158 million over the past two summers – started Sunday’s goalless draw against Newcastle United but were frustrated by their performance.
Brazilian wideman Antony has scored three goals since his arrival at Old Trafford from Ajax, while Sancho showed a few glimpses of his best form in the early weeks of the season before fading again.
Antony tries to beat Jacob Murphy in Manchester United’s draw against Newcastle
Jadon Sancho tries to make progress in Sunday’s Premier League game at Old Trafford
United legend Ferdinand wants both wingers to have more confidence to take on and beat defenders, pointing to Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as an example.
“We don’t seem to have the imagination in those areas,” he told his… FIVE YouTube show.
‘We used to give it to Nani, Giggsy [Ryan Giggs]to Becks [David Beckham] even, give it to Antonio Valencia or Cristiano [Ronaldo] if they are wide.
Rio Ferdinand wants United widemen to show ‘more imagination’ and take on opponents in one-on-one situations
‘Put him in a one-on-one situation, either with a good ball from [Paul] Scholes of [Michael] Carrick etc, take them one-on-one and do your thing.
“Right now we’re getting into those positions and unfortunately for us our wide players are turning away from that, they don’t kill fullbacks, they don’t skin them.
“The best teams, the winners, get teams one-on-one, they wait for that moment in the match. They may only get two or three moments in a game where they provide that full one-on-one resistance.
“Saka is doing as well as anyone in the league right now. They get the fullback one-on-one and they say, “Okay, I’m going to ghost you.”
“Right now, our broad players are not doing that.
‘Parts of their game work functionally, except for the City game’ [6-3 defeat]they are doing well defensively.
“But if we have the ball and we want them to do that little cherry on top, that stuff, we’re not going to get that now.
United manager Erik ten Hag gives instructions to Sancho during Sunday’s goalless draw
“It’s what you sometimes need to create that space and suddenly you’re behind their defense and suddenly people like Marcus Rashford and Cristiano can come alive and deliver you goals, or Bruno [Fernandes] comes in late.
England and Arsenal star Saka, 21, has impressed during the opening weeks of the season and Ferdinand believes he is a sure starter for his country at the World Cup.
“You can’t see past Saka on the right wing spot in this form. I think he will do well in an England shirt,” he said.
“He’s a winger who if he gets it, I’ve seen him live a few times this year too, his first instinct and intention is to get past you.
Ferdinand said United’s wingers should look to Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka for inspiration
“We spoke to Nani and he told us that was his intention. As soon as he got the ball one-on-one, he wanted to beat the fullback.
“I love that about him, he has no fear, he plays with a little more maturity every time I see him.
“He is in good form at a club that is in good form. He is confident and if he enters the World Cup in that mode, I don’t see anyone starting for him.”