Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Paul Merson after the former Arsenal player labelled Manchester United’s acquisition of Marcel Sabitzer as a panic buy.
Manchester United was dealt a major injury blow when their key creative talent, Christian Eriksen was injured in their FA Cup clash with Reading. The Danish midfielder found himself on the wrong end of a crunching tackle from Andy Carroll which should’ve been red but ultimately, went unpunished.
This left Erik ten Hag a man down in an already dilapidated midfield and forced the club into the transfer market at the last minute. With very limited options, they managed to pull off a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Sabitzer on a 6-month loan deal.
Although this isn’t a marquee signing it is a smart pickup under the circumstances.
Here is how Eriksen and Sabitzer line up against each other in the stats department. 👀🔴 pic.twitter.com/g5HK37Z4Lx
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 1, 2023
But not everybody was impressed, speaking on Sky Sports Merson criticised the purchase and claimed that it was a ‘panic buy.’
Now following the former Arsenal player’s comments, Ferdinand has hit out at Merson on his podcast, Vibe with FIVE.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” Ferdinand said.
“If I was to say that I could go and get as short-term replacement at the drop of a hat for Eriksen, Sabitzer is a player who you would have gone ‘ooh, If I can get him, I’ll take him’.
“I watched a hell of a lot of this player when he was at Leipzig in the Champions League, he was sensational. He was integral to everything they did there.
“Yeah, he’s gone to Bayern Munich and he hasn’t become a regular there, but I think he will be a really good signing. A really experienced player, he’s played in big games, he knows his way around a football pitch.
“That just stinks, for me, that Paul Merson hasn’t seen him play, wouldn’t know if he’s left or right-footed. You can’t say that he’s a bad signing because you don’t get signed by Bayern Munich if you’re a chump.
“Man United couldn’t have done any better, so well done to their recruitment team.”