Ex-Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand admits he wishes his former side signed Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey after the Ghanian’s towering performance in the Gunners’ 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The 27-year-old completed a £45million move to the Emirates on deadline day after Arsenal activated a release clause in the midfielder’s contract.
After a string of impressive displays, Partey kept his best performance yet for Sunday’s win at the Theatre of Dreams, where Arsenal’s outnumbered midfield dominated United’s diamond.
Ferdinand admitted in April that he was keen to see his former side sign Partey and the former England defender was full of regret that United didn’t heed his advice after witnessing the midfielder’s display at Old Trafford.
‘You have to say well played to Arsenal,’ Ferdinand told the FIVE Youtube Channel.
‘Partey – what?! I said a while ago back in April or before that when I was talking about who United should buy – that was my guy!
‘You have to give massive credit to Arteta and how they set-up. They absolutely pressured Manchester United, they pinned them back.
‘They said: ‘We don’t even need to have the ball, we’re going to control this game without the ball’.
‘They pinned them back and said: ‘you make the mistakes and we’ll feed off that.’
‘United looked frustrated because they couldn’t get out. They didn’t get loads of big chances but Arsenal looked like the team that were on the front foot and were the aggressors in this game at Old Trafford.’
United did sign a midfielder last summer but Donny van de Beek has been largely overlooked since his £40m arrival from Ajax.
The Dutchman has started just three matches for the club – two of which came in the Carabao Cup.
United started with a four-man midfield consisting of Scott McTominay, Fred, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes but the system, which worked so handsomely against RB Leipzig in midweek, failed miserably against Arteta’s men.
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