Rio Ferdinand reveals Sir Alex Ferguson ignored his request to sign Aaron Lennon for Manchester United

'I told Fergie: 'If he can replicate it in training, we need to get this guy'.'

Rio Ferdinand reveals Sir Alex Ferguson ignored his request to sign Aaron Lennon for Manchester United
Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon
Aaron Lennon scored 30 goals in 364 appearances for Spurs (AFP via Getty)

Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson ignored his request to sign his former England teammate Aaron Lennon for Manchester United.

Lennon was in Leeds United’s academy during Ferdinand’s time at Elland Road but the pair were both part of England’s squad for the World Cup in 2006 and 2010, although Ferdinand missed that tournament due to injury.

Tottenham ended up signing Lennon in a £1 million deal from Leeds in 2005 but Ferdinand claims he was urging Ferguson to bring the winger to Old Trafford.

Ferdinand also revealed how impressed he was with Tom Huddlestone during England’s training sessions.

‘I don’t think I trained with Tom Huddlestone many times but every time I trained with him he left something in that session that afterwards you’d go to one of the lads, ‘did you see that from Tom?’,’ Ferdinand said on Vibe With Five.

‘He played with both feet, bearing in mind he was massive, he used to have this skill where he would roll it with his right or left foot, rolls it with one and in the same motion slap pass it with the opposite, mate, hard to do, he’s doing it in training full speed, nonchalantly, or smashing a ball off either foot top corner, curling it, anywhere you like it.

David Beckham, Aaron Lennon and Wayne Rooney in England training
Rio Ferdinand claims Aaron Lennon impressed during his training sessions with England (AFP via Getty)

‘And he wasn’t one of the top, top players there, no disrespect but he wasn’t.

‘Aaron Lennon one time when he was young and got in the team, oh my god, he stopped and started a few people and went through the middle of the pitch and all of us were like [open mouthed].

‘Like Fergie, I’ve gone, ‘from what I’ve seen in training, if he can replicate it in training, we need to get this guy’.’

Asked what Ferguson’s response was, Ferdinand said: ‘Just never moved on it.’

Jermain Defoe and Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand says he was keen for Jermain Defoe to join Manchester United (Getty)

Ferdinand also believes that Jermain Defoe would have thrived at United under Ferguson.

‘The one player I always used to say to him [Ferguson] if you want to buy someone from our England team… Defoe,’ Ferdinand said.

‘Because he wouldn’t have started for us [Manchester United] all the time, but it would’ve been another type of Chicharito [Javier Hernandez],
that he comes on and all he cares about is scoring, and if we’re winning 5-0 he’ll want to make it 6-0.

‘He’s got that inner, ‘I need goals, I live, smell and breathe goals’. We would’ve got him in so many positions to score it would’ve been a joke.’

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