Legendary Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has criticized his former club for failing to sign Declan Rice in the summer transfer window. Speaking on his Vibe With Five podcast, Ferdinand expressed his belief that Rice was the player United "should have 100% gone and got."
Ferdinand highlighted Rice's leadership qualities, claiming that the England midfielder is "only second to Jude Bellingham" in terms of his ability to quickly influence a dressing room and command respect. He further stated that Rice would have significantly contributed to improving "the culture and the environment" at Old Trafford.
While Ferdinand believes Rice's abilities on the pitch are undeniable, he emphasizes the intangible qualities that the young midfielder would have brought to United. His leadership, attitude, and likeability factor are seen as crucial elements that would have positively impacted the team beyond just on-field performance.
However, it's important to note that Manchester United were never seriously in the running for Rice's signature. The 24-year-old ultimately chose to join Arsenal in a big-money move, where he has quickly established himself as a key player under Mikel Arteta.
Ferdinand's comments highlight the growing frustration among Manchester United fans regarding the club's transfer strategy and inability to attract top talent. While the club has made several signings in recent years, they are yet to fully address the midfield issues that have plagued them for some time. Rice's arrival, in Ferdinand's view, could have been a significant step towards building a winning team at Old Trafford.
The debate surrounding Rice's potential impact at Manchester United is likely to continue, particularly as he continues to impress for Arsenal. His leadership and on-field prowess make him a highly desirable player, and his absence at Old Trafford could be a decision United come to regret in the seasons to come.