Former West Ham United defender Rio Ferdinand was personally involved in young midfielder Marcus Browne’s exit from the club this summer, according to Claret & Hugh.
The reliable Hammers news source claims that it was the ex England international who spoke to Middlesbrough boss Jonathan Woodgate directly to persuade him to sign Browne.
The youngster is represented by Ferdinand’s management group New Era Global, and Rio clearly took it upon himself to urge Woodgate to get the deal over the line.
The 21-year-old had until then appeared destined to return to Oxford United where he spent last season, but Ferdinand’s intervention saw him end up at The Riverside.
Well well well, what could Rio possibly have to gain from this, eh? In all seriousness, though, all he’s done here is have a word with an old Three Lions colleague in Woodgate and told him to take a leap of faith on a player who, to be fair, excelled on loan in League One last season. This isn’t a non-league player unproven in the Football League. Browne tore it up in the third tier last time out, to such an extent that many West Ham supporters felt he would be given a chance by manager Manuel Pellegrini this summer. However, that didn’t really happen and he has ended up joining Boro. That’s a good move for him, too, because he’s joining a big club who are looking to do a bit of a rebuild centred around young talent. Browne very much fits that description so it’s likely he’ll be given the opportunity to feature with regularity for Woodgate’s team moving forward.