Rio Ferdinand sends transfer advice to Arsenal after being ‘destroyed’ by Liverpool

Former United player, Rio Ferdinand during the FA Cup match between Derby County and Manchester United at the Pride Park, Derby on Thursday 5th March 2020.
Ferdinand says Arsenal need better leaders (Picture: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty)

Rio Ferdinand has called on Arsenal to recruit leaders this summer after being ‘destroyed’ by Liverpool on Saturday night.

Mikel Arteta’s side were blown away on home soil, with Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah finding the net in a comprehensive 3-0 win at the Emirates.

Ferdinand admitted he feels sorry for the Arsenal manager, who he says has been ‘let down’ by the senior professionals in his squad, and believes the right investment will prove crucial this summer to fix the problems at the club.

‘It does (feel flat),’ Ferdinand told BT Sport. ‘They were totally dismantled at the weekend.

‘They were destroyed by Liverpool and that’s a Liverpool team that hasn’t scaled the heights they have of the previous two seasons.

‘They’re reliant on young, homegrown players. Their best players this season are the ones that have come through the system, which is great on the one hand, but when you’ve had investment in other areas of the team with experience, you want those players to come to the fore as well.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on April 03, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Arteta has been let down, says Ferdinand (Picture: Getty)

‘They’ve been let down by those experienced and seasoned players this season.

He added: ‘I feel sorry for Arteta – you bring these young kids in, which the fans all want as they can identify with the young players as they feel that’s them coming into the first-team as well, but you need to be able rely and call upon the experienced players to usher those players through with you.

‘We didn’t get into the first-team and were able to produce without the help of our senior players, we know how important it is.

‘They need that support and need other people to look at when the chips are down a little bit, look at that senior player who says “come on, follow me, this is how you get through it, I’ve been there and done it, just sit behind me and let’s go”.

‘The young players have been the ones that have been pushing from the front all season, that hasn’t helped Arsenal or Mikel Arteta in this period.

‘I see the patterns, we watched them against Fulham in the first game of the season and they had the wide players coming inside and the full-backs getting wide.

‘So I see the tactical stuff and that’s great but it’s not consistent enough and there’s things that we’ve been talking about behind the scenes that have contributed to that.’

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates with Fabinho, Ozan Kabak, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara and teammates after scoring their team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on April 03, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Liverpool thumped Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Ferdinand identified a lack of character in the Arsenal dressing room as being a major problem and is adamant that needs addressing this summer.

‘I think in the recruitment process going forward with Arsenal, their teams of the past were built on big characters,’ he continued.

‘Leaders like Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

‘They’re not only great players, they’re big characters. I don’t see that enough in that dressing room right now. Recruitment, that’s where I’d be looking.’

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