Rio Ferdinand compares Phil Foden to Manchester United flop

Former Manchester United and England centre-back Rio Ferdinand has compared Phil Foden to Juan Sebastian Veron.

Foden struggled to impact England’s Euro 2024 opener, which ended in a 1-0 win over Serbia. It was a nervy win for Gareth Southgate’s side as they never appeared to dominate the game.

Despite the criticism aimed towards Foden in the past week, the Man City midfielder played a key role in Pep Guardiola’s side winning the title. He looks a lot more comfortable when playing in City’s system which is the case for the vast majority of their players.

Ferdinand believes Foden needs to “dominate” his teammates more and demand the ball if he’s to shine at the Euros this summer.

Speaking on his FIVE podcast, Ferdinand said: “Me, Micah [Richards] and Cesc [Fabregas] done that game [for BBC] the other day and Micah was saying how he felt sorry for Phil and about how [Gareth] Southgate’s not getting the best out of him.

“And then, to be fair, Cesc just put him away, just said, ‘listen, no, no, no, it’s down to Foden’. Foden’s got to go out there and you’re talking about body language, being demanding and authoritative with the way that you want the ball.

“Jude [Bellingham] has got that in spades and I think if we’re going to see the best out of Phil Foden, and I agree with Cesc, he’s got to really go out there and try and dominate the pitch and dominate some of his teammates to give him the ball and be the first one to shout.”

Ferdinand added: “But I’ve seen this before at Man United. We had Roy Keane who demanded the ball in the middle of the pitch. We signed a superstar in Juan Sebastian Veron. Ridiculous player, the streets will never forget this guy, that bandage under the knee.

“He was a playmaker that wanted to get the ball off all of the players and that’s how he got his rhythm and play. But Roy Keane dominated because he was more animated, the characteristics that he had came out and was much more dominant.

“He was there before and dominated that area. And Veron folded really and had to be sold and didn’t really become a success at Man United. But he was a fantastically talented player and I hope Phil doesn’t fall like that.”

Subscribe to the Stretty News podcast Strettycast for weekly episodes on Manchester United. You can also sign up to the ad-free Stretty Newsletter. Get the Stretty News verdict on all matters Manchester United. 

More Stories Cesc Fabregas England Juan Sebastian Veron Micah Richards Phil Foden Rio Ferdinand