Jose Mourinho’s failure to select Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Marcus Raford in the same Manchester United starting XI this season is a mistake, says Rio Ferdinand.
Between them the trio have scored 14 goals in the Premier League, but they have almost never all been on the pitch at the same time.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes they would offer the best combination in attack because of their pace.
‘I’m desperate to see Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial playing together,’ Ferdinand said in his column for The Times. ‘Mourinho has never used them as a starting forward line and every time he submits a teamsheet that doesn’t include a Rashford-Lukaku- Martial front three, every defender in the opposing dressing room breathes a sigh of relief and says thank goodness for that.
‘You’re talking about three players with ridiculous pace, who are direct, can run with and without the ball, and are hungry, young and fit. As a centre-back that’s the combination I would fear if I were facing United. Pace kills in the modern game and those three could destroy you.’
Manchester United 2017/18 Fixtures
Chelsea (A) – Sun 5 Nov
Newcastle United (H) – Sat 18 Nov
Basel (A) – Wed 22 Nov (Champions League)
Brighton (H) – Sat 25 Nov
Watford (A) – Tue 28 Nov
Ferdinand believes that today’s match represents an ideal opportunity to try them out, with opponents Chelsea currently struggling defensively. ‘With Chelsea in such a state, today is an opportunity to go for it a bit more.’
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Although Mourinho could err on the side of caution, with Ferdinand speculating that the Portuguese coach doesn’t select them due to defensive concerns.
‘Maybe Mourinho worries that as a unit they wouldn’t offer enough defensively but for me, especially away from home, you could secure the midfield, keep your defensive shape and leave those three up together to run amok.’
Chelsea v Manchester United is today at 4.30pm.