Skip to main content

Exclusive: Mikael Silvestre picks one former United teammate that would guarantee victory in this weekend's Manchester derby

Manchester Derby
(Image credit: Getty)

Mikael Silvestre featured in the Manchester derby on eight occasions, and during his nine year stint at Old Trafford played with some world class talents. Former Red Devils teammates include Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs. 

But when asked which one former teammate could help the current side topple Manchester City on Saturday, the Frenchman didn't hesitate in selecting a player not mentioned in the above list.  

"Easy answer: Roy Keane," Silvestre, who spoke to FourFourTwo in association with MyBettingSites, said. "In a Manchester derby, you're going to war and Roy was and will always remain the person I would want by my side in that situation. I’d pick him above anyone else. Not only because of his character – his leadership – but also his football quality. He was able to dictate games and win games in midfield. We always talk about strikers making the difference but if you control the midfield, you have a very good chance to win any game, so I would put him in straight away."

One criticism often levelled at the current United side is a lack of leadership on the pitch. This was never an issue during Silvestre's Old Trafford days, but it is something the 44-year-old feels has gone missing in the modern game.

"I think a lot of teams lack that type of character now," he tells FFT. "Not just in England but all over Europe. It's just the way the way football has changed and the way players have changed in terms of relationships between themselves, between the manager and in the dressing room. They are not as demanding of one another as we used to be. That's a fact. I'm sure a lot of people see the difference."

Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and save over a third on standard price.

Restock your kit bag with the best deals for footballers on Amazon right now


MANCHESTER DERBY How Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola’s derby records compare

RANKED! The 10 best Manchester derbies EVER

HOME ADVANTAGE Six of the best Manchester derbies at Old Trafford