‘That’s his game’ - Rio Ferdinand issues verdict on Man Utd’s deadline day signing
and live on Freeview channel 276
Erik ten Hag was left scrambling for late signings on deadline day despite a flurry of early business which saw Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana arrive on big-money deals. United made late moves to sign Jonny Evans, Sergio Reguilon and Amrabat in a bid to add cover at the back and out wide.
Amrabat was linked throughout the window, but United wound up striking a pricey loan deal worth more than £8million, also agreeing an option to pay worth around £20million.
In all, United will pay around £30million for Amrabat including loan and transfer fees if they do make it permanent. But in the meantime, Ten Hag has secured some much-needed depth at the heart of midfield, with Amrabat having amassed an impressive reputation for his performances in the holding role, particularly for Morocco.
The Fiorentina star was the star of Morocco’s World Cup run that saw them reach the semi-finals, and he will now look to continue his ascent with United.
Speaking about the deal, United legend Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five podcast: “I managed to see him live at the World Cup two or three times and I think he was very good, even against France. Defensively he’ll give us great cover for someone like Casemiro if he gets suspended or needs resting.”
He added: “At times we’ll need to play two sixes, and he’ll be someone who can come in and that’s what he’s there to do.
“He’s a skilled six, deep player, that’s his role. We’ve had players like Fred, McTominay - no disrespect, they wanted to do well - but I’ve always said when you look at their player ID, there was never defensive nous in their kit. This guy has that, that’s his game.
“He’s an enforcer, he stops other teams playing, he’s very cute positionally and he’s very disciplined. Those are traits you need as a defensive midfielder.”