Manchester United will force creative talisman Paul Pogba to play a deeper role this season in order to accommodate new boy Donny van de Beek, believes club legend Rio Ferdinand.

Van de Beek became United’s big name signing this summer, following a £40million arrival from Ajax.

And now Ferdinand feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be forced to play Pogba as a holding midfielder, in order to allow the new boy space to create alongside the energetic Bruno Fernandes.


Speaking this week on BBC Radio Five Live, Ferdinand said: ‘Listen, if you say you’re going to play your best players in that midfield and you’re going to play three, then you’d say Paul Pogba playing in the holding role and [Bruno] Fernandes and Van de Beek being the guys that are playing around that, a bit more free and able to move around and create.

‘Is that Paul Pogba’s best position? I would argue not. But you have to look at what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to do. Does he want his best players on the pitch or is he talking about players fitting in a system?

‘I think that’s the intriguing part for me going into the season from Man United’s perspective in terms of the signing that they made, that player.’


Van de Beek has previously played a deeper central position role at Ajax in recent seasons, following the departure of Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona.

United still remain heavily linked with Jadon Sancho, as Solskjaer begins to feel the pressure of needing to improve his side before the transfer window closes.

On the Pogba situation, Ferdinand added: ‘It’s a big call and that remains to be seen, but I still think Manchester United will have some sort of movement and there will be additions in this squad going into the season.’