Ferdinand: With or without Pogba, Man Utd need Grealish

Emmet Gates
Emmet Gates
  • Updated: 17 May 2021 20:53 BST
  • 3 min read
Ferdinand: With or without Pogba, Man Utd need Grealish

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged his former side to sign Aston Villa attacker Jack Grealish next summer, and doesn’t care if Paul Pogba leaves the club.

Grealish has impressed for Villa over the last 18 months, and speculation has grown that the 25-year-old may leave Villa Park for new pastures next summer.

Ferdinand, who was speaking on his official YouTube channel, admitted he was a big admirer of the England international.

“I don’t care if Pogba goes or not, Grealish is my man,” he said. “I have known him since he was in his early teens. He came to my restaurant and I got him and his dad some tickets for a game.”

Pogba has been heavily linked with a move away from Man Utd next summer, with Juventus and Real Madrid circling the Frenchman once again.

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  • Grealish meanwhile has refined the rougher elements to his game, and has put off-the-pitch controversies behind him, according to Ferdinand.

    “He’s a great kid with a great family,” the former West Ham and Leeds defender said. “He loves his football. What the young kids don’t see with Jack Grealish is the hunger and hard work behind closed doors – the attention to detail and the way he trains. He has changed his regime and looked at himself and asked what he can do better.

    “I have heard from a lot of people that he is diligent in all the work he does off the pitch to get to where he is now. You are seeing results week in and week out.

    “He is one of those players that has looked at himself in the summer and thought, ‘Yes, I’ve done well last season, I’ve signed a new deal at my boyhood club, and I am going to go again’.

    “If I am a manager of a top team in England, a top three or four team, then I would not allow him to stay there, I would go and take him.”

    Ferdinand sees shades of several former and current world class footballers in Grealish.

    “As a defender, as much as pace behind you frightens you, it is also the player who can find pockets of space, turn and run at you,” he stated.

    “[Pablo] Aimar who played at Valencia and Argentina, [Ariel] Ortega, players like that who could run with it and dribble – Ronaldinho and [Lionel] Messi. I am not saying he is in that class yet, but that style of player who runs at you. He is a fantastic player.

    “When you talk about big numbers like £100 million or whatever price tag you want to mention, it is not about how good they look, it is about are they putting up the numbers to justify that price tag? 12 in his last 14 games suggests he is and that he is going to go for big, big dough.”