Rio Ferdinand believes members of Manchester United’s squad will be baffled by Erik ten Hag’s reliance on Wout Weghorst and the decision to play the Burnley loanee as a No. 10.
Eyebrows were raised when United signed Netherlands striker Weghorst on loan from Championship club Burnley during the January transfer window.
Despite showing admirable work-rate, Weghorst has struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford, scoring just two goals in 27 appearances.
The 30-year-old endured another frustrating evening on Sunday as Manchester United were beaten 1-0 by relegation-threatened West Ham and was subbed off on the hour mark.
Ferdinand cannot understand why Ten Hag has played Weghorst as a No. 10 and believes the decision will irk some of the other players at the Theatre of Dreams.
‘I just think Manchester United’s No.10 – a top team’s No. 10 – doesn’t look like a Weghorst in my eyes, with the attributes he’s got,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘Let’s look at it another way, if I’m Sancho, Bruno [Fernandes], Garnacho, Martial and I’m sitting there watching him line-up as a No. 10 in front of me…
‘The No. 10 shirt means something else, it’s a player that can create, has got guile, can get between the lines and get on the half turn and bring other people into play in that sense and get goals.
‘Weghorst doesn’t offer those things I’ve just said there… I think his best piece of play today was a tackle in his own box. That’s a No. 10. That’s not what No. 10s are known for doing.’
Ex-England striker Peter Crouch agreed with Ferdinand’s comments on Weghorst, adding: ‘He is a good player but I just can’t get my head round what he gives in that position.
‘I think if you play Weghorst you’ve got to play him high up so Rashford and Sancho can bounce balls off him, you can play one touch and then he’s in the box for any kind of crosses.
‘If you play that way you’re not going to get the best out of him.’
Back-to-back 1-0 defeats leaves Manchester United fourth in the Premier League, one point above Liverpool, who they have a game in hand over.
On the top-four race, Ten Hag said: ‘In this season we had some terrible setbacks and every time we bounced back so once again we show the character and go on.
‘We cannot feel sorry for ourselves. We have to keep going and show character. It’s only four games. You need energy. Get ready for the games, clear your head, energy, focus and go.’
Manchester United, who won the Carabao Cup earlier this year and face Manchester City in the FA Cup final, return to action next weekend against Wolves.
MORE : Rio Ferdinand makes top-four prediction after West Ham beat Man Utd
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