Rio Ferdinand Identifies One Player Wayne Rooney Overlooked in Critical Evaluation of Manchester United Squad, Suggesting Major Changes needed to Build around Bruno Fernandes.

Rio Ferdinand Identifies One Player Wayne Rooney Overlooked in Critical Evaluation of Manchester United Squad, Suggesting Major Changes needed to Build around Bruno Fernandes.

Rio Ferdinand has picked out the player that former Manchester United and England team-mate Wayne Rooney missed when the legendary forward suggested the Red Devils should rebuild a new team around Bruno Fernandes. 

Fernandes is one of a handful of players at Old Trafford to come through this last season with their reputations largely intact after a wearisome campaign for Erik ten Hag’s side. 

The Portuguese captain has 10 goals and eight assists so far this term, and although he has suffered criticisms of his leadership and attitude at times, he has continued to lead by a sporting example on the field. 

As United’s disappointing campaign approaches the close this week, Rooney had suggested: ‘You have to build the team around Bruno. He’s quality and has got fight in him, and then I think all the other players get rid of them.’

Ferdinand has now revealed to Mail Sport that he largely agrees with Rooney’s damning assessment – only with one caveat. 

Bruno Fernandes has been one of the few bright sparks for Manchester United this campaign

Wayne Rooney (right) claimed that the club needed to sell almost all their players and build anew around Fernandes

Wayne Rooney (right) claimed that the club needed to sell almost all their players and build anew around Fernandes

Rio Ferdinand was talking to Mail Sport at an event at Bluewater shopping centre for the new Ballerz dome

Rio Ferdinand was talking to Mail Sport at an event at Bluewater shopping centre for the new Ballerz dome

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‘I think that’s going to happen anyway, a lot of the players will be on the market,’ he said to Mail Sport.

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Wayne Rooney gives ruthless verdict on the state of Manchester United as he urges club to ‘get rid’ of most of their squad and warns it could take 15 YEARS to win the Champions League again

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‘Whether that happens or not, I don’t know, but for the players they’ve got if they’re going to build around one of them, it would be Bruno for me – with Kobbie Mainoo as well.’

Like Fernandes, Mainoo has had a rare impressive campaign emerging from the youth ranks to a prominent role in midfield under Ten Hag. 

The pair have earned widespread acclaim this term, with the teenage midfielder even earning his first England cap and plenty of backing to go to the Euros in Germany.  

Diogo Dalot and Alejandro Garnacho have also had bright moments, while Andre Onana and Harry Maguire have made some mistakes, but both shown great mental fortitude to come back stronger and put in some good performances.

Rooney was later quizzed on whether he would keep the likes Onana, Dalot, and Maguire, with the ex-England captain saying: ‘I think he (Onana) has had a shaky start but has got better and better over the year.

‘For me, Dalot’s done well, Maguire has had an in and out season.

‘To compete in this league they need better players. Don’t get me wrong these players are good players. But to compete with Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, they need better players.’

Kobbie Mainoo (left) has had a breakthrough season for the Red Devils and has earned himself an England debut

Kobbie Mainoo (left) has had a breakthrough season for the Red Devils and has earned himself an England debut

Fernandes goes into the final game of the season with 10 goals and eight assists for United

Fernandes goes into the final game of the season with 10 goals and eight assists for United

The multimillion-pound dome offers facilities for the public to play football, watch games and relax

The multimillion-pound dome offers facilities for the public to play football, watch games and relax 

Ferdinand was speaking to Mail Sport at an event at Bluewater shopping centre to launch the new multimillion-pound Ballerz dome – a 30,000 square foot football dome. 

The dome is home to an immersive football experience and 6-a-side stadium-style 5G pitch loaded with tech, including instant goal replays, together with pro changing rooms, stadium-style seating and a players’ tunnel.

‘It’s a space where you come and have great enjoyment playing football and doing loads of different activities,’ Ferdinand said of the facility.

‘There’s loads of space where you can play football, drop the kids off, leave them – there’s this pitch here but also loads of tech behind it, and loads of food and beverage. You can watch games, the lot!’

 

Ballerz will be open 8am to midnight seven days a week from Saturday 18 May 2024, with bookings now live at www.ballerz.co.uk

Visitors can pre-book 30 or 60-minute sessions in the Skillzone, as well as private pitch hire, parties, events and training.

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