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Manchester United wingers told to follow Bukayo Saka's lead

Ryan Sidle

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| Last updated 

Manchester United wingers told to follow Bukayo Saka's lead

Manchester United wingers have been told to take inspiration from Bukayo Saka and 'kill' full backs, with Rio Ferdinand less than impressed.

One of the many problem positions over recent years for United have been in the wide channels, specifically on the right side of the pitch.

Fans probably thought that those issues were sorted when they finally landed Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund in August 2021, after a year of chasing him.

However, things didn't work out as well as would have been hoping for the England international, with regular grump pundit Paul Scholes blasting his former club for the signing.

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This summer, Erik ten Hag splashed out on Antony, with the former Ajax star breaking a club record by scoring in his first league games.

That wasn't good enough for Scholes either, with the United legend claiming the Brazilian was a 'one trick pony,' whilst describing two things he was good at.

Both players started in last Sunday's 0-0 draw with Newcastle United, with neither having a big enough impact on their team's attacking output, although Sancho may have been unlucky not to win a penalty.

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Now Ferdinand has joined his former teammate's criticism of the wingers, and told them they need to look at Arsenal star Saka for how to beat full backs.

"We don't seem to have the imagination in those areas," the former centre back said on his FIVE YouTube channel.

"We used to give it to Nani, Giggsy [Ryan Giggs], to Becks [David Beckham] even, give it to Antonio Valencia or Cristiano [Ronaldo] when they're wide.

Ferdinand isn't happy with Antony. Image: Alamy
Ferdinand isn't happy with Antony. Image: Alamy
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"'Get him in a one-on-one situation, either with a good ball from [Paul] Scholes or [Michael] Carrick etc, get them one-versus-one and do your thing.

"At the moment we get in those positions and unfortunately for us, our wide players are turning away from that, they're not killing full-backs, they're not skinning them.

'The best teams, the winners, get teams one-versus-one, they wait for that moment in the game. They might only get two or three moments in a game where they stand that full-back up one-versus-one.

"Saka does it as well as anyone at the moment in the league. They get the full-back one-versus-one and they say, 'right, I'm going to ghost you.'

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"At the moment, our wide players aren't doing that.

Saka has been in excellent form this season. Image: Alamy
Saka has been in excellent form this season. Image: Alamy

"Parts of their game are working functionally, other than the City game [6-3 defeat], defensively they're doing well.

"But when we have the ball and we want them to do that bit of cherry on the top, that stuff, we aren't getting that right now.

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"It's what you need sometimes, to create that space and all of a sudden you're behind their defence and, all of a sudden, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Cristiano can come alive and get you goals, or Bruno [Fernandes] comes in late."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Antony, Premier League, Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand

Ryan Sidle
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