Rio Ferdinand believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should take Harry Maguire out of the firing line ahead of Manchester United’s clash away to Newcastle United.
United captain Maguire has endured a dismal start to the new season and his misery was compounded with a red card on international duty as England were defeated 1-0 by Denmark in the Nations League.
The Reds have conceded 11 goals in the opening three Premier League games with Maguire marshalling the defence, and there are widespread calls in the fanbase for the 27-year-old to be dropped for the key fixture.
Ferdinand used his own experiences at United to suggest that Maguire being rested may be beneficial for all parties.
“In these situations – that I’ve been in as well – you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven,” Ferdinand said, as quoted by the Metro.
“Ole has a big job on his hands and I think quite an important role to play in this.
“Whether maybe it’s time to give him a little rest, let him gather himself and build that confidence back up.
“I got brought off in one game, I think it was Middlesbrough away, the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] spoke to me and said “get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in”.
“That’s what happened and I was fine. It’s just sometimes that bit of pressure being taken out that can actually help you.”
Solskjaer is left with a big decision to make over his captain who has been almost indispensable since arriving from Leicester City last summer.
It would surely be best to rest Maguire for the game at St James’ Park to help him rediscover the form that earned him his Old Trafford switch.
However, the lack of a central defensive signing this summer leaves Solskjaer short of options should Maguire be dropped.
Axel Tuanzebe recently resumed training but has not played a first-team game for 10-months, and Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have both looked shaky in recent weeks.