Rio Ferdinand ‘would have loved’ Man Utd to hijack Arsenal transfer deal

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Rio Ferdinand has admitted he would have “loved” Manchester United to sign Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners spent around £56million to sign the former Borussia Dortmund in the January window three years ago.

The Gabon international went onto enjoy a stunning first two-and-a-half season in England netting 54 goals in just 85 Premier League appearances.

That earned him a bumper new deal at the Emirates this summer, but it hasn’t gone to plan, with Aubameyang in the midst of his worst run of form as an Arsenal player.

In 15 league games so far this season, the skipper has scored just three times, with his form becoming a growing concern for Mikel Arteta.

After enduring their worst start to a season since 1974, Arsenal have won three on the spin, but Aubaemyang failed to add to his tally over the festive period.

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And while full of praise for the forward, Red Devils legend Ferdinand claimed supporters shouldn’t be able to continue defending his performances.

Appearing on the FIVE YouTube channel’s Premier League review, he asked: “What is the problem with Aubameyang?”

“How has he gone from being one of the most potent strikers in the Premier League if not in Europe, to what he’s doing now?

“How’s that happened? It’s not the Aubameyang I know. I don’t know how Arsenal fans are defending him.

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“That is the biggest thing for Mikel Arteta, the biggest thing Arteta needs to do right now is to get him playing again.

“He’s got all these young, exciting prospects, you just want Aubameyang there around doing his stuff as well.

“I love Aubameyang, I think he is an unbelievable player who I would love in my team. I would have loved Manchester United to buy him before he went to Arsenal, I think he’s a top, top player and a ridiculous finisher.

“What he did last season was unrivalled, but this season Arsenal need him firing, ASAP.”

Despite his indifferent form, Arteta has refused to put any additional pressure on his star forward, instead urging his teammates to contribute to their push up the table.

After the 4-0 win over West Brom, he said: “I keep saying that we cannot put on Auba the whole weight on his shoulders to score the goals.

“We need contributions. Midfielders have to score more goals, needs to give more assists and we need goals from our wingers as well…

“Auba has some chances today he could have scored the same in the last game or so.

“I am so pleased because I thought in the final third we looked lively.

“There is a lot of movement, there is good energy, there is a real purpose, everybody’s playing forward.

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