Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has voiced his fears over the club’s centre-back pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
The former United defender has pointed to their lack of mobility as a weakness that could leave them exposed to lightening counterattacking moves from opposition teams.
The most recent example was in United’s 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new campaign, where Maguire and Lindelof were run ragged by the likes of Wilfred Zaha and Andros Townsend.
Ferdinand feels their defensive partnership could derail the club’s chances of winning silverware.
“Is it good enough? I’d probably say no, if you’re trying to win the top competitions,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“Yes, last season they had a good defensive record, but I just see moments in games where they get opened up, they get physically dominated at times, especially in terms of pace, especially if their protection isn’t what you’d expect it to be if the game opens up a little bit.
“If the game opens up and they’re on the halfway line and they’re playing 1v1 or 2v2, then I fear for my life in that situation. If the team shape is fine and it’s all set up properly, then they look a decent pairing.”
Meanwhile, former United midfielder Paul Scholes agreed with Ferdinand ‘s assertion.
He believes without solid protection from the midfield, Maguire and Lindelof fumble, but giving them protection means crippling our attack.
“When they have the two [Fred and McTominay] in front of them, they look different,” Scholes said.
“They had that little bit of protection that’s helped them. Not all of them [need it].
“You’re a defender for a reason, you’re supposed to be OK one-on-one, sometimes it can take away the attacking side of the team which it has done in the last couple of games, especially against Chelsea on Saturday.
“Fred and McTominay have definitely made them look better players, and they’ll prefer that.”