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Redknapp rates Ferdinand among elite

Harry Redknapp has defended Rio Ferdinand, claiming the Manchester United defender is still one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

Harry Redknapp has defended Rio Ferdinand, claiming the Manchester United defender is still one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

Ferdinand has been on the receiving end of criticism this season following some lacklustre displays that prompted questions about his ability to continue performing at the level required of a team challenging for the title.

However, with United plagued by injuries, Ferdinand kept his position in the starting 11 and has since helped Sir Alex Ferguson’s move 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Redknapp, who worked with the former England international when he was manager at West Ham, still believes the defender is of the highest quality.

“Rio losing a yard probably still makes him as quick as any centre-half in the country,” the QPR manager told reporters.

“He was lightning quick, so if Alex thinks he’s lost a yard that’ll just bring him closer to the next-quickest centre-half – he’s that quick.

“I just think he’s a fantastic player. He’s been a top player since he was 17 and he’s been a great player for United. He’s still top quality.”

Sat 23 February, 2013
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