Midfielder United finally got their hands on midfield reinforcements, as the Reds were able to secure a loan agreement for the Fiorentina midfielder.
Rio Ferdinand feels Sofyan Amrabat’s positional understanding and discipline will be critical for Manchester United’s midfield.
Amrabat was United’s sixth and final summer signing, initially joining on a season-long loan from Fiorentina. The Serie A club will receive €10 million for the season, with the option to make the move permanent for €20 million plus €5 million in add-ons.
Manager Erik ten Hag had been looking for midfield reinforcements all summer, and his transfer business had been marked by arrivals in that area. Mason Mount was the first to arrive, arriving in a £55 million transfer from Chelsea.
However, the England international has struggled to get off to a good start, and United have struggled in that area of the play. Casemiro has been isolated in all three of their Premier League games so far, and the midfield has been sliced through frequently, which Ferdinand believes Amrabat will halt.
“I managed to see him live at the World Cup two or three times and I think he was very good, even against France,” Ferdinand told Vibe with Five. “Defensively, he’ll provide excellent cover for someone like Casemiro if he’s suspended or needs to rest.”
“At times, we’ll need to play two sixes, and he’ll be someone who can come in and do that.” He’s a skilled six-man, and that’s his role. We’ve got players like Fred and McTominay who wanted to succeed, but when you look at their player ID, there was never any defensive nous in their jersey.
“He’s got that, that’s his game.” He’s an enforcer, he stops opposing teams from playing, he’s really cute in his position, and he’s highly disciplined. Those are the qualities required in a defensive midfielder.”
As with Rasmus Hojlund’s arrival earlier this summer, doubts will be raised about how the Moroccan will adjust to the pace of Premier League games. He showed his ability to keep up with the best in Qatar, tracking back to stop Kylian Mbappe in the World Cup semi-finals, but he collected 16 yellow cards across all competitions last season.
With Casemiro also prone to suspension, there may be concerns that both will be absent too much, but Ferdinand hopes the Brazilian veteran will help to illustrate the way forward now that he has played a season in England.
“All players need to adapt, and if he can do that quickly, I think he’ll be fine,” Ferdinand continued. “The game is definitely faster than Serie A.”
“He’s an international footballer who has performed well on the international stage, so hopefully he has the common sense and concentration to ensure he’s correct.”
“I think someone like Casemiro, who missed a few games last year due to his ill-discipline here and there and maybe naivety towards the league, might be able to point him in the right direction.”