Maguire to inherit Man Utd captaincy? Ferdinand feels £80m man must justify fee first

The ex-Red Devils defender, who knows all about the pressure of hefty price tags at Old Trafford, feels the armband can wait for England centre-half

Harry Maguire may not be ready to take the Manchester United captaincy on the back of his record-breaking £80 million ($96m) transfer, says Rio Ferdinand.

The former Red Devils centre-half knows all about big-money deals, having become the most expensive defender in world football when making a move to Old Trafford from Leeds in 2002.

Maguire is now the holder of that title, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having seen his board dig deep to get a deal done with Leicester.

It has been suggested that, with United looking for someone to take the armband for 2019-20, the England international could immediately be appointed as skipper in new surroundings.

Ferdinand is, however, wary of such a decision being taken, with it important that the new arrival is given time to justify his hefty price tag before worrying too much about leadership.

He told BT Sport of Maguire: “It’s huge pressure. I remember when I went to United and every training session you are thinking about the price tag.

“That’s what he would have been brought in for that [the captaincy]. Initially though he has enough pressure just to perform, let alone to be captain. He needs to perform first.

“Every day in training people will be wondering if £80m is worth it. From people I’ve spoken to he will handle the pressure and has broad shoulders.”

Maguire is one of three high-profile additions to have been made to the United squad.

Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have also joined the ranks, with Ferdinand pleased to see the Red Devils bringing the club’s “DNA” back by buying young and British.

He told talkSPORT: “I really hope this season is a step in the right direction.

“From what I have been seeing in the media, from the manager, from some of the players, is the team look fitter, they look stronger, and they are understand what the needs are now from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Our era wouldn’t understand not being fit. That was part and parcel – you have to be fit from day one – but certain managers have a certain style of play and that has all been upped since he has been in there.

“I think the philosophy in terms of their transfer signings has been a good step in the right direction. They are younger, fresher, hungrier players. All British boys as well, which has always been a mainstay at Manchester United.

“Part of the fabric has been having young British hungry players who understand the club and the DNA and these boys will be shown that straight away.”

United are expected to hand out competitive bows to their new boys when they open their 2019-20 campaign with a home date against Chelsea on Sunday.

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