‘Man Utd are going to play Pogba out of position’ – Ferdinand sees Van de Beek signing impacting £89m star

Paul Pogba Manchester United 2020
The former Red Devils defender believes a World Cup winner will be asked to fill a deeper role now that a Netherlands international is on board

Manchester United’s purchase of Donny van de Beek is going to lead to them playing Paul Pogba out of position, claims Rio Ferdinand.

Despite already boasting plenty of options in the engine room, the Red Devils have opted to bring in another.

Netherlands international Van de Beek has been acquired from Ajax for £35 million ($46m) and is expected to slot straight into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.

If that were to be the case, then somebody already occupying a role in that area will need to be shifted.

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Ferdinand feels World Cup winner Pogba will be that man, despite the Frenchman having attracted criticism in the past when being moved out of a favoured playmaking post.

“Well, that is the big question, I think,” former United defender told BBC Radio 5 Live of the selection posers facing Solskjaer.

“Listen, if you say you’re going to play your best players in that midfield and you’re going to play three, then you’d say Paul Pogba playing in the holding role and [Bruno] Fernandes and Van de Beek being the guys that are playing around that, a bit more free and able to move around and create.

“Is that Paul Pogba’s best position? I would argue not. But you have to look at what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do. Does he want his best players on the pitch or is he talking about players fitting in a system?

“I think that’s the intriguing part for me going into the season from Man United’s perspective in terms of the signing that they made, that player.

“Is he just going to be named as one of the best players in the team and he’s going to play, or are we going to say we want the system for the players to fit into.

“It’s a big call and that remains to be seen, but I still think Manchester United will have some sort of movement and there will be additions in this squad going into the season.”

Ferdinand has called on United to bolster their defensive and attacking options, but feels that Van de Beek could prove to be useful addition if he settles quickly in English football.

He said when quizzed on whether the Dutch playmaker improves Solskjaer’s squad: “I think that remains to be seen. I think we have to wait and see, give it a bit of time.

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“I think all new signings need time normally, Bruno Fernandes last season was probably an exception. But I had a good look at Van de Beek when he was playing for Ajax in the Champions League – not last season, the season before especially, when Spurs got the final and Spurs beat them.

“But on that run I thought he was very, very good. He impressed me no end and I think he showed some qualities that will be a great addition to the Man United squad.

“Is he the position that I thought Man United needed desperately? I would say no. But we still have three weeks left in the window so we’ll see.”