Van Persie names the two players that are slowing down Manchester United’s attacking play

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Former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has identified Harry Maguire and Fred as two players limiting the team’s attacking output.

We slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League no thanks to our defensive frailties.

Dutchman Van Persie believes Maguire and Fred are culpable for slowing down our attacking play in recent weeks as the England centre-back’s distribution has been poor, while the Brazilian midfielder has been dropping too deep to receive the ball.

“Everyone is talking about Maguire being fantastic on the ball, so far he’s not been fantastic on the ball going forward, with his passing,” Van Persie told BT Sport.

“But that’s not only down to him. Before the show I spoke with Owen [Hargreaves] about the positioning of the team overall and in some situations the team is not well positioned.

“You see Fred coming to take the ball from cencenter-backe should not do that. Maguire should do that. He can do that forward pass.

“He [Fred] should play higher up the pitch, where it is more difficult to play, but it gives everyone more options.

“The forward players should play as high as possible and find spaces in that area and not drop too deep.

“You see it’s not clicking because the positioning of the players is not right most of the time.”