Former USMNT star Freddy Adu believes that the Manchester United striker is the best player in the world right now ahead of Kylian Mbappé, on current form
NJ.Bet spoke exclusively to former US soccer prodigy Freddy Adu, who during this exclusive interview gave his thoughts on a variety of Premier League topics. Add thinks that on current form Marcus Rashford is the best player in the world right now. Adu also said that Buyako Saka is up there with the top players in the world, and reminds him of how he used to play as a winger: oh, and Arsenal will win the Premier League this season.
Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez has the ability to become outstanding and people shouldn’t forget that Salah is still a world class player, but that he is missing his former wing partner Sadio Mane.
Adu spoke about the USMNT players in the Premier League. He thinks Christian Pulisic should join Newcastle United, Weston McKennie was an outstanding signing for Leeds United, and Tim Ream has impressed at Fulham as a 35-year-old.
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How good is Marcus Rashford at the moment? His form has simply been insane of late for United!
Right now, he is playing as well or better than anyone in the world of soccer. His form is amazing; it is actually unbelievable. It just goes to show what having the right coach can do, to help bring the best out of you. I think Ten Hag has been a god-send for Rashford. He’s playing with supreme confidence and scoring just about every game. On current form, he might be the best player in the world right now.
Has Rashford’s form shown that he can be just as good as Mbappé? He has all the attributes – the pace, the finishing, the strength, and the intelligence
He does have the ability to be the best player in the world, but as well as he is playing right now, it’s going to take even more. For whatever reason, English players always have to seem to do more work to win a Ballon d’Or. I don’t know why that is but it’s something that I’ve noticed!
Do you think United could still come back to win the Premier League or no?
I think they are just a bit too far off right now, but never say never! For me, I think it will come down to Manchester City and Arsenal, and it might just be a case of too little too late for United. They started off a bit slow, and while they’ve picked up massively of late, I think it’s a little too late to challenge City and Arsenal.
Arsenal’s win last weekend was a momentous moment in the title race, with a slice of luck with the own goal from Jorginho’s effort coming back off the bar. Has that given them the edge with city’s result not going their way?
A slice of luck is an understatement – they got really lucky! I think the Arsenal and City results last weekend gives them the edge. Those two results were pivotal, with Arsenal getting the right results and City not getting a win.
Arsenal could well falter and the next thing you know they could be neck and neck again. I’d never give up on Manchester City because they’re such a good team and once they turn on all cylinders, they just run through teams.
But Arsenal have been amazing this year. This is the best I’ve seen them since Vieira and Henry, in the Arsene Wenger days. They look great with a great future ahead of them.
Arsenal play Leicester this weekend, and whilst it’s not the form they’re taking in, it’s the knowledge they can win in different ways. Do you think they’ll keep it up against Leicester this weekend?
I think so. I think Arsenal now know how to win any kind of game, different ways to win. They might dominate possession and score 4 or 5, but sometimes when they don’t play as well they’re still finding a way to win. Teams like that are teams that end up winning titles. You can have your worst game and still win. Like the Man United of old under Sir Alex Ferguson who could find themselves 2-1 down, and score two late goals to win. Once a team gets a taste of that like Arsenal have right now, it’s infectious and it just carries on. Everybody on the team just has that confidence that they can find a way to win even when they’re not playing well.
I think Arsenal will win 2-1 against Leicester this weekend.
Just how good is Saka? As a winger yourself that loved to cut in from the right and use his left foot. Is he one of the top players in the world right now?
If someone said Saka is one of the best players in the world, I wouldn’t argue – I can see it. He’s been involved in setting up so many goals for Arsenal, whether it’s scoring or assisting, he’s always involved. He creates a lot off chances. So dangerous and hard to deal with. The way he plays and he just drifts out wide, he’s fast and skilful. He really can do it all.
Does Saka remind you of yourself and how you used to play?
Yeh of course, but I think Saka is faster than I was. But his playing style reminds me of myself, left-footed, coming in off the right, both scoring and setting up goals.
Prediction for Man City v Bournemouth this weekend?
4-0 to Man City! I think there’s no margin for error for City right now, they have to go into every game and win, and win convincingly. I think the lads will be up for it.
If you had to pick between City and Arsenal for the title?
Right now, I would have to say Arsenal will win the Premier League. City know how to win the league and how to hunt teams down, put pressure on teams. But Arsenal just have an aura about them this year, firing on all cylinders, have the right players and Arteta is doing a wonderful job. Some of players may not be big names, but they’re the right players for the team, and they’re clicking. It’s going to be difficult for City to catch them and overtake them at this point.
Leeds managed to sign Weston McKennie in the transfer window; how good an addition is that to the squad?
I think it’s a fantastic coup from Leeds that they managed to get McKennie in from Juventus. I’m actually pretty surprised, but I guess having Jesse Marsch there helped. Going from Juventus, and he could easily have ended up at a team at the top end of the league or competing for titles like an Arsenal or a Manchester United, but it’s a great signing for Leeds. I think Leeds have a coach in Javi Gracia that can get the best out of the players, and they will avoid relegation this season.
He’s got pretty good credentials, which will be good for Leeds and set everything right and get them on the right path. Leeds has players – good players. When you watch them play, they’re buzzing all over the field. They just need to create more chances, but they’re a very likeable side. Leeds is America’s team right now – three of the most prominent men’s international players on the team, Tyler Adams, McKennie and Aaronson.
How important are those 3 US players going to be to Leeds’ survival?
They’re going to be very important. Tyler Adams has always been a calming presence in midfield, keeps everything ticking. McKennie will bring more to the attack and going forward. I know Aaronson had a little bit of a bad run of form for a few games but I think we’re gonna see a completely different player. Leeds have the right players and now they’re under new leadership. I think you also have to credit Jesse Marsch for bringing in the right players, even though he didn’t get a chance with the new additions to move the team forward. If Gracia can get the best out of the players, they’ll easily be able to escape any talk of relegation.
Leeds v Southampton – prediction?
A McKennie goal would be fantastic! It might take a few games for Weston to adjust, but when he does he will be firing on all cylinders. He’s a very smart and intelligent player who can adapt quickly, and hopefully that comes this weekend.
I’m going to go with a 1-1 draw, as I think Leeds might need another few weeks to get everyone on track, especially with a new manager coming in.
Pulisic has been out with knee problems for a while; how much are Chelsea missing him?
I think Chelsea are missing Pulisic. He’s the kind of player that is a nuisance to deal with, he creates a lot of havoc, he’s always buzzing and running. He’s skilful and intelligent, but he’s a hard-working guy, so he can hurt you. I think Chelsea are missing him as he creates chances and havoc in front of goal, and they’re missing the dynamic play that he brings.
I know they’ve got Joao Felix in and Mudryk, but right now Mudryk is having a tough time and the Premier League is hard to adjust to, and he’s having a hard time adjusting. But Pulisic has already adjusted, so I think the experience of the Premier League which he brings, Chelsea are missing that a lot right now.
Do you think he should think about a move away now? Newcastle are on the up and clearly interested; seems like a great option with Newcastle looking to break the top 4 this year and push on to challenge for titles in the years ahead
When you’re playing for aa team like Chelsea, and I know Pulisic has been in and out of the line-up, not getting a fair crack at it, I’m an advocate of going to a team where you’re going to get playing time. From my experience I’ve been at some big teams where I didn’t play, and it really hurt my development and hurt my game. Playing time and playing is the number one most important thing, and if he has the opportunity to go to a really good team like Newcastle – they’re a better team than Chelsea is right now – if he has the chance to go to Newcastle, I would 100% back that move.
From a Newcastle perspective, their defence has been amazing but maybe struggle a bit up top. Would he be that perfect player to give them the ability to unlock a game?
Pulisic bring exactly what Newcastle need at the moment. I think he’d have a lot more responsibility and a much bigger role and he would be a regular starter, which would also do wonders for his game, and be able to show what he can really do.
How good are Fulham this season, and how impressed with the US stars Tim Ream and Anthony Robinson?
I think Fulham have been incredible in what they’ve done this year, no one saw Fulham being as good as they have been this year. They’ve been fantastic, and playing good football.
I can’t tell you how proud I am of Tim Ream. I came up with Tim and he’s come a long way, his game has evolved and he’s become so much better since we came up with the youth and men’s national teams. He’s playing with supreme confidence right now, and I couldn’t be proud and happier for him. He’s a great guy and a great player, and doing what he’s doing in the Premier League – a round of applause for Tim. He deserves it and I know he has worked so hard for it. He’s 35 now and still doing it at such a high level; it’s incredible.
I hope Fulham keep on winning, keep on doing what they’re doing, and maybe they can sneak into the top 5!
Fulham take on Wolves on Friday. What is your prediction?
Yeah I’m predicting a Fulham win – 2-1 to Fulham.
What are your thoughts on Darwin Nunez? Do you think he just needs a bit more time?
I think the Premier League is a hard league to adjust to. Things that you’re able to do easily or easier in other leagues, are just much more difficult to do in the premier League. Sometimes you’re in the right position and you can take your time, but the Premier League is 1000x sped up. You have to adjust to that. I think for Nunez, everything is just moving so fast and he’s rushing at the moment.
He’s rushing, even when he’s in the right position, rushing his shots. I think he just needs that little bit of calm, and let the game slow down for him, and do what he has always done because he is a very good player.
Some fans may not think it right now, but once Nunez settles in at Liverpool, he’s going to be an exceptional player for them. I think he just needs more time, and it might take until next season until we see the very best of Darwin Nunez, but when it clicks for him he’s going to be outstanding.
What are your thoughts on Mo Salah and his form?
He’s an unbelievable player but, being honest, his form has dipped a little bit. It doesn’t take away from him being an unbelievable player, but Liverpool in general are going through a tough period – I’m not really sure what’s been going on.
Do you think Mane leaving made a big difference? That he was the man who took pressure off Salah?
I think it’s amazing how much of a difference Mane made when you look back. A lot of the talk was about Salah, and he definitely deserved it, but Mane was a huge difference maker in that Liverpool team. He took a lot of pressure off Salah and the other players, and now a lot more of the focus is on all of those players.