Manchester United’s midfield has been rampaged by injuries with the latest one being serious enough for the club to bring in a replacement.
Midfield talisman Christian Eriksen is set to be out of action till April after a horrific challenge from Reading player Any Carroll.
This added to manager Erik ten Hag’s headache following injuries to Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek. And the club were forced to dip into the loan market and eventually brought in Bayern Munich star Marcel Sabitzer.
United’s Sabitzer move was criticized by Merson
He was one of the hottest Bundesliga properties around a couple of seasons ago, back when he was playing for RB Leipzig. However, following his move from him to Bayern Munich, the Austrian has not managed to live up to expectations.
His game-time has been severely reduced and that opened the doors for a temporary switch to Old Trafford.
Pundits like Paul Merson were not convinced with the signing and resorted to calling it a panic buy.
“Eriksen has just got injured. It’s a panic. You’re buying fourth-choice Bayern Munich players. For me, I’m not sure about that. He doesn’t get into the Bayern Munich team,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He doesn’t get in the Bayern team, it’s a panic!” 👀
Paul Merson Hon #DeadlineDay interest in Marcel Sabitzer 🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/p1u84SFVGp
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 31, 2023
However, fans will remember Sabitzer’s talismanic showing which helped RB Leipzig knock out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side from the Champions League a couple of seasons back.
United legend Rio Ferdinand lambasted Merson for his opinion while terming the signing as the best the club could have dreamed of after being put in such a tight spot following the Eriksen injury.
Rio hails Sabitzer as the perfect Eriksen alternative
“For me, those comments stink of someone who hasn’t seen him play. This guys knows how to play football,” Ferdinand said in response to Merson on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel.
“I am absolutely delighted with [the signing]. If I was trying to get a short-term replacement for Eriksen at the drop of a hat, Sabitzer is the player I would get.”
Welcome to Manchester!
Good work by ten Hag & the recruitment team at @ManUtd! ✍️ #Sabitzer https://t.co/a8S9j33v8B https://t.co/afinOhiIoO pic.twitter.com/kSixlIBHNl
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) February 1, 2023
The former United defender revealed how he was an admirer of the 28-year-old’s talents back when he was in Leipzig and his profile is similar to that of the injured Dane.
“I watched a hell of a lot of this player when he was at RB Leipzig and he was sensational. He was integral to everything they did. Yes he’s gone to Bayern and he hasn’t torn it up there or become a regular, but the players he’s behind are big, household names.
“This guys knows how to play football. You don’t get signed by Bayern Munich if you’re a chump. He’s a really, really good footballer. Manchester United couldn’t have done any better, I don’t think.”
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