July 26, 2020
Former Manchester United captain and Class of 1992 graduate Gary Neville feels that United will need to invest in their squad this summer in order to continue growing as a team worthy of taking on the best teams in the Premier League – which are currently Liverpool and Manchester City. United have addressed a lot already by achieving a third place finish in the Premier League this season, returning to the UEFA Champions League after a season out of the competition.
United beat Leicester City 2-0 on Sunday afternoon to end the season on a high with a penalty from Bruno Fernandes, his tenth goal of the season for the club and a late goal by Jesse Lingard, who scored his first Premier League goal of the season, in fact his first since December 2018. United have now been unbeaten in 14 Premier League matches. Neville feels that United need to continue investing because they will need more to take on the might of Liverpool and City. Speaking to Sky Sports, reported by The Mirror, Neville said:
“They (United’s starting XI) were absolutely done in with 20 minutes to go and that just demonstrates that they need more players in the squad.
“The last time United finished in the top three they spent £170million under Jose Mourinho that summer and obviously didn’t invest it as wisely as they have this last year.
“I think United need to invest that money again but do it correctly this time to get anywhere need Liverpool and City. That squad needs improving, that team needs improving.”
Last summer, United did well to add Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. At the time, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew that he needed more but was not able to sign a striker. However, in January, with problems in the midfield, Bruno Fernandes was added and the manager was also able to add Odion Ighalo to his squad, albeit on loan – which has been extended until the end of January 2021, meaning the player will experience Champions League football next season, in the group stages at least. Neville still feels the club needs more, continuing by saying:
“They need to improve the first XI, first and foremost. That’s not to the detriment of any of the players that have played today.
“There are players who were out there who are good enough to be part of the squad that can still compete if you’re going to play 55, 60 games in a season.
“It’s about making sure you get players in that want to play for the right club, who are coming for the right reasons.”
Neville is right. United have done well this season with that they had in the squad. There are players that will have already played their last matches for the club and some others that will be under the microscope. If United are to raise the bar this summer, they will need to add players off a better quality to the squad. When the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are not playing, quality is the real issue. Roy Keane, a former teammate of Neville added his ten cents to the conversation, suggesting where United should improve, saying:
“I think they need another centre-half, certainly one or two defenders. Gary [Neville] made a point that when you’re at a big club like United you want options all over the park.
“I think they’ll probably need another striker. We talk about [Mason] Greenwood coming through but he’s still a young player finding his way.”
Written by John Walker