Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United’s youngsters have outshone the rest of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad (Picture: BT Sport)

Manchester United’s recent recruitment has been so inept that the club’s standout players this season have all been academy products. That’s the opinion of Rio Ferdinand.

The Red Devils produced one of their worst performances of the campaign at home to Burnley last night as goals from Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez consigned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to their eighth defeat in the Premier League this term.

They now sit fifth in the table, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and a whopping 30 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool.

Last night’s result means United have lost more games than they’ve won in the English top flight (W11 D9 L12) since Solskjaer took over the reins from Jose Mourinho back in December 2018.

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In that time, the Norwegian has brought in Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James for a combined total of around £150million.

While Ferdinand refuses to point the finger specifically at these signings, he believes United’s young stars – Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay – have exposed the flaws in the club’s recruitment strategy by outshining the rest of Solskjaer’s squad this season.

Speaking on BT Sport following United’s dismal 2-0 defeat to Burnley, Ferdinand said: ‘Even now you look at the team, £600million roughly spent on this squad and the best players, probably the four most impressive players this season: homegrown talent. Williams, Greenwood, Rashford and who’s the other one? McTominay before he got injured.

‘Anyway those have been the most impressive players.

‘That speaks volumes about the recruitment. That shows how shoddy it’s been.’

Williams and Greenwood have impressed Ferdinand this season (Picture: Getty)

Ferdinand admits Solskjaer needs to start improving as United manager but insists the club’s injury problems have made life extremely difficult for his former team-mate.

Asked whether Solskjaer was doing a good enough job, Ferdinand replied: ‘The results would suggest not.

‘Let’s be honest. I played with Ole, he’s an ex-team-mate of mine but you have to be honest the results that are being churned out are not good enough.

‘I will give him a little bit of backing in one sense, he’s got a lot of injuries. McTominay probably the best player before he got injured. Paul Pogba is a huge player, most expensive player here. Rashford is a huge player who is in the form of his life.

‘So he’s had some key players get injured. But still, the big amount of money that’s been spent on this squad, you’d expect more in reserve off the wings coming in to perform.

‘We’re relying on an 18-year-old at half-time coming on to change our fortunes. That’s where we’re at.’

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