'It STINKS of someone who hasn't watched him' – Rio Ferdinand slams Paul Merson over claiming Sabitzer is 'panic buy' | The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED legend Rio Ferdinand lambasted Paul Merson's heavy criticism of January signing Marcel Sabitzer.

Sabitzer joined United on deadline day following a loan deal with Bayern Munich and will replace Christian Eriksen, who has been ruled out for three months with an ankle injury.

Merson wasn't impressed with the Red Devils' signing as he labelled the midfielder as a "panic buy" and a "fourth-rate player".

Merson told Sky Sports: "He doesn't get in the Bayern Munich team, as the manager just said. He's way off that. 

“Their two in midfield is cemented but if he was that good, he'd be pushing. So again it goes back to panic. There was no interest in him on January 1st. Now, it's 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.

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"If I'm a Manchester United fan or a Chelsea fan, I'd be looking and going, he doesn't get anywhere near Bayern's first team."

But Ferdinand strongly disagrees with the Arsenal hero's comments as he said they "stink of someone who hasn't seen him play".

The legendary defender insists Sabitzer is an ideal replacement for Eriksen after a "sensational" seven-year stint at RB Leipzig.

The ex-England international admits the 28-year-old "hasn't tore it up" at Bayern since his arrival in 2021 but that is due to the immense competition he faces in the pecking order.

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Ferdinand told Vibe with FIVE: "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.

"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 hasn't tore it up there or become a regular but the players he's behind are big, household names.

"He will be a really good signing for Man United. He's an experienced player who has played in big games, Champions League games.


"For me, those comments [from Merson] stink of someone who hasn't seen him play. 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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