Man Utd need a right-winger and a centre-back to move to next level – Neville

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 19 May 2021 16:43 CEST 2 min read
Man Utd need a right-winger and a centre-back to move to next level – Neville

Former Man Utd defender Gary Neville believes the club need to sign a right-sided winger and a top-class centre-back if they are to eventually become worthy of a Premier League challenge.

Following an excellent run of form, the Red Devils are now unlikely leaders at the top of the table, two points ahead of rivals Man City, though Pep Guardiola’s side do have a game in hand.

Neville in unsure as to whether this challenge can be sustained, though, as he believes Man Utd ae a couple of players short of becoming elite.

“I look at the game on Sunday and think: how do you go from that to becoming title winners?” he said on Sky Sports following Man Utd’s 0-0 draw away at Liverpool.

“I think one area is that United need to push up the pitch a bit more, up in the game a bit more. If you look at Liverpool, even with Fabinho and Henderson in defence, they are well up the pitch, on the halfway line.

“One more area is that the right-hand side is a problem. Juan Mata has played there, Dan James has, Paul Pogba has, Marcus Rashford has, Donny van de Beek’s played there, Mason Greenwood’s played there, and nobody has cemented it.

“We know Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted that right-wing position filled in the summer, and he didn’t get it, and it’s just posing a little bit of a problem. If there was a goalscoring right winger in that squad today, with Rashford and Anthony Martial, that I think would be a difference.

“So a centre-back that gets them up the pitch that 10 yards, and a right winger, they are the two positions I’d focus on.

“We know Liverpool’s problems were a centre-back and a goalkeeper, and they signed Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Manchester United just need that little bit of belief, and a couple extra players, and they’re not as far away as it looks if City and Liverpool stay at this standard and don’t jump back up to that 100-point standard.”

In the summer, Man Utd manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer attempted to fill that right wing position by targeting Jadon Sancho of Dortmund, but a deal was unable to be struck, with the German side refusing to budge on their reported £100m valuation of the England star.

With regards to the centre-back position, Man Utd have been linked with a sensational free transfer for Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos should he not sign an extended deal with Los Blancos beyond this summer.