He’s too old, too injury prone, a has-been; these are just three of the slights the doubters are flinging like rotten tomatoes at QPR over their decision to sign free agent Rio Ferdinand.
The R’s want the veteran former Manchester United stopper to marshal their rearguard as they bid to fight odds of 3/1 that say they’ll be relegated this season, but there are plenty who believe the 35-year-old is exactly the type of player they should be avoiding.
Investing in aged assets with nothing to prove was one of the many factors that contributed to their 2012/13 Premier League downfall.
While the sun has undoubtedly set on Ferdinand’s glory days, those categorising him alongside Christopher Samba, Park Ji-Sung and Jose Bosingwa will promptly realise the error of their ways just a few weeks into the coming campaign.
Here’s why he’ll prove a great acquisition:
He’s a seasoned performer at the highest level.
Extracting value for money is essential for the west Londoners this summer after a few seasons of financial exuberance have excavated everything but the lint from Tony Fernandes’ deep pockets.
Man Utd may not have savoured a stellar year last time round, but they suffered just one Champions League loss when the ex-West Ham trainee was deployed in defence, while Jamaal Lascelles – just one name the QPR fat cats prefer – has never plied his trade higher than the Championship, yet would cost north of £5m.
Assuming they snare fledgling England star Steven Caulker, who better to school him than the former Three Lions stalwart?
A domineering, quick, ball-playing defender, the Cardiff man sits at the summit of Harry Redknapp’s shopping list and has exemplified several of the traits in his blossoming career that made Ferdinand a superstar.
He shone in a relegated Bluebirds side that may well have fared better had they employed an experienced partner-in-crime to tutor the Tottenham academy graduate.
If managed correctly, the injury concerns that have bugged the elegant centre-back recently can be marginalised.
He won’t be able to play every game, but Richard Dunne and Clint Hill can take over the mantle when Ferdinand needs a breather.
In 2010/11, for instance, Sir Alex Ferguson omitted him from over half of their 60 games, but the Red Devils lost just one league match in which he featured en route to winning the title.
This is how the 2012/13 instalment ended too; Ferdinand was pitched in on 26 occasions and was on the losing side just three times.