Rio Ferdinand says Man Utd star ‘would have a statue’ if he played for Arsenal

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Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand smiles Credit: Alamy
Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand smiles Credit: Alamy

Rio Ferdinand says a Manchester United star who put Unai Emery in his place at the weekend would “have a statue” by now if he played for Arsenal.

Bruno Fernandes’ goal was enough to see United beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday and put them in the driving seat to secure Champions League qualification.

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Fourth-placed United are now seven-points clear of nearest challengers Liverpool, having played a game less than their rivals.

Fernandes now has 11 goals and 14 assists this season, taking his career tally at United to 61 goals and 54 assists in 178 appearances – numbers that Ferdinand reckons would be enough for a statue at Arsenal.

Only Kieran Trippier has created more chances in the Premier League this season.

Reviewing the Villa game on his FIVE podcast, he said: “We deserved to win the game.

“Did you see Bruno’s numbers? Wow. The guy, it’s remarkable what he is doing. If he was at Arsenal he’d probably have a statue now at the Emirates with the numbers he has done!”

With Harry Maguire’s future at Old Trafford in doubt, Fernandes is expected to take on the club captaincy next season having worn the armband through much of the 2022/23 season, and Ferdinand is adamant that’s the right call.

“Does Bruno take the captaincy next year? 100 percent, I think he does,” he continued.

“Since Bruno signed he has been the most impactful player we have had. He’s wearing the armband while Maguire doesn’t play. I think it is natural progression for him to be captain next season.”

Ahead of the clash with United, Emery had talked up his own side’s European ambitions, having gone on an incredible run since taking over from Steven Gerrard at Villa Park.

And Ferdinand says the Spaniard was dealt a “reality check” by Fernandes.

“Unai Emery was producing miracles, and who steps up to stop him?” Ferdinand asked himself. “Bruno. Sit back down, Unai. Have a reality check and know your place.”

United face a huge test on Thursday as they travel to Brighton, who thwacked Wolves 6-0 last time out.

Perhaps Ferdinand won’t be so stomach-churningly chipper after that game.

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