RIO FERDINAND reckons Manchester United’s flops have used the club as a gold mine.
The Red Devils spent eye-watering money on transfer fees and wages on the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku, Angel di Maria, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Anthony Martial.
But United legend Ferdinand believes his ex-club need to change their recruitment policy and get leaders of men if they want to compete for major honours again.
“I’ve seen players come in, sit down and it seems to me like it is OK to just chill on the sidelines and not get picked all the time.”
When asked if that happened in his 12-years at Old Trafford? Ferdinand replied on his Vibe with Five Podcast: “Not really, no.”
Ferdinand was part of the last United side to win the Premier League in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2013.
The former England defender won six Prem titles in total as well as the 2008 Champions League.
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And the 43-year-old pundit says United need to be more thorough on their checks for new players after citing the qualities of Michael Carrick and Henrik Larsson.
Ferdinand added: “They need leaders of men. When you are buying a player for Man United, you have to look at the person and the character. Can this person carry a culture?
“I don’t want these wishy washy signings who is a good player but I don’t know what else I am getting.
“I want players who you say that guy can grow into being a man at this football club and lead people and carry people across the line.
“People who don’t suffer fools. It’s hard to find but you have to do your due diligence and look into people’s characters and find out if they are made of the right stuff to come in and play at this football club.
“Because the pressures at Man United are very different to the pressures at going to many other clubs in this country and around the world.
“There’s only a few clubs that carry that weight and pressure on your shoulders. Can you deal with it?
“Look at someone like Michael Carrick. He did very well at West Ham and Spurs, was he ready to make the jump to Man United?
“I’m sure due diligence was done on his character, a great lad, honest pro, works hard and looks at his game and wants to improve.
“It’s not hard to find out, you need to know the right people in the game. You could hit a bump in the road but have you got the character to get over the bump?
“Even Henrik came in and he didn’t come for a swansong. He came to influence. He was one of the reasons we won the league that year because of his influence.
“You saw young players like Wayne Rooney looking at him and thinking, ‘That’s Henrik Larsson.’ He wasn’t chilling, he was shouting at people in training and this is how you play at the top level.
“He wasn’t at his peak then. His runs, the intensity, the way he applied himself every day, that stuff then got ingrained into the next generation.
“That’s what you want maybe with the likes of [Edinson] Cavani and [Cristiano] Ronaldo to do for [Jadon] Sancho and [Marcus] Rashford to be sucking up all of that and taking it in.
“They are the questions you have to be asking the club – are they taking all that in?”
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