Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says he would be very happy if the Red Devils snapped up Aston Villa’s John McGinn and West Ham’s Declan Rice this summer.
The BT Sport pundit claims that the two midfielders are strong characters and that is just as important as ability in a successful team:
“I think you’re getting two good characters. I think character is one of the main elements that we need – obviously you look for a certain amount of class and quality in the players. But I think you need to build the right characters within this squad going forward if you’re going to improve – get the culture right at the football club. You need players to drive that, so if you’re buying and are in the recruitment team this year, I think that’s a big element that needs to be addressed.”
“I think some would say, ‘oh John McGinn not a sexy enough signing’ etcetera, but I think he’s a very good player and by all accounts a very good lad, a great professional, not afraid to say what he wants to say to people to get the best out of them. He’d be good in that element and on the pitch I think he would be good enough. Is he going to elevate us to being Champions League and Premier League winners? Probably not based on just ability, but I think character stands for a lot in this game. Declan Rice, I’ve said enough about him. I love this player, I love this guy. If you’re any of the top teams.”
While McGinn is believed to be valued at around £50m by Villa, Rice could cost in excess of £100m, with Chelsea and Manchester City also said to be interested in the West Ham star.
Whether the pair would be worth such an outlay, it is doubtful. There are certainly more talented players on the continent who are available for much lower prices and buying homegrown stars hasn’t exactly been a successful policy for the Red Devils in recent years, if we consider the poor form of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
Ferdinand is right to point out that bringing in players with the right character is important in terms of building a winning mentality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean McGinn and Rice are the right fit for United.