Former Manchester United striker and Old Trafford legend Robin van Persie has identified a major flaw in United duo Fred and Harry Maguire’s defensive partnership.
Van Persie believes that Fred is dropping too deep to pick the ball up from the United captain which is causing major positional problems throughout the rest of the team.
The now retired Dutch legend thinks that there is no need for Fred to continually drop deeper to receive the ball from Maguire and instead should be focusing his attentions higher up the pitch.
It is van Persie’s opinion that Maguire is more than capable on the ball and doesn’t need Fred coming further back to receive the ball.
Speaking to BT Sport,(as quoted by The Mirror) after United’s shocking performance and 2-1 loss to Istanbul Basaksehir last night, van Persie said: “Everyone is talking about Maguire being fantastic on the ball, so far he’s not been fantastic on the ball going forward, with his passing.
“But that’s not only down to him. Before the show I talked with Owen [Hargreaves] about the positioning of the team overall and in some situations the team is not well positioned.
“You see Fred coming to take the ball from centre-back, he should not do that. Maguire should do that.
“He can do that forward pass. He should player higher up the pitch, where it is more difficult to play, but it gives everyone more options.”
The former United striker did go on to admit that it isn’t just Fred and Maguire who are to blame for the Reds’ poor positioning but that the forwards should also be higher up the pitch, he said: “The forward players should play as high as possible and find spaces in that area and not drop too deep.
“You see it’s not clicking because the positioning of the players is not right most of the time.”
Van Persie’s comments come at the same time Manchester Evening News‘ writer Tyrone Marshall believes United need to improve their defensive coaches but did admit that current backroom staff force including Kieran McKenna, Mike Phelan and Michael Carrick all deserve credit for the Reds’ on-field positives.