Manchester United still need two signings to become genuine title challengers, according to Red Devils legend Gary Neville.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could only draw 0-0 away to Liverpool yesterday, in what will no doubt feel like a missed opportunity for United after their fine recent form and Liverpool’s injury problems and dip in form.
Neville feels this shows Man Utd are still short of quality in some areas, as he made it clear he felt a centre-back and right winger could make all the difference.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the draw at Anfield, Neville pointed out that United lacked the confidence to press higher up the pitch due to the lack of a centre-back that allows them to do that.
As well as that, he pointed out how many different players Solskjaer has used on the right-hand side this season, with no one really nailing down that place.
The pundit feels United could finally be serious contenders for the Premier League trophy if they sort out those two problem areas.
“I look at this game and think where can you go from being [challengers] to being title winners. One thing would be Manchester United need to push up the pitch a bit more, to be up in the game a little bit more,” Neville said.
“If you look at Liverpool, even with Fabinho and [Jordan] Henderson, they’re well up the pitch, they’re playing on the halfway line. You look at Manchester United, they’re just playing a little bit deeper.
“And I think when they come here and play 10 yards further up the pitch – maybe in a couple of seasons or next season when maybe they’ve got another centre-half in the club who can give them that confidence to do so – at that point that’s when you’ll start to see them doing it.
“The other bit is that right-hand side is emerging… well, not emerging, it is a problem. There’s no doubt. Juan Mata has played there, [Daniel] James has played there, [Paul] Pogba has played there, [Marcus] Rashford’s played there, [Donny] Van de Beek’s played there, [Mason] Greenwood’s played there.
“That’s six players that I can think of and I’ve probably missed out some that have played in that position and no-one’s cemented it.
“And we know that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted that right wing position filled in the summer, he didn’t get it, and it’s just posing a little bit of a problem. Because I think if there was a goalscoring right winger in that squad today, with Rashford and Martial – and maybe Greenwood could have been the person but he’s just not quite there yet – that I think would potentially be a difference.
“So a centre-back that gets them up the pitch that extra 10 yards and maybe that right winger. There’s still a question mark over whether the centre-forwards are good enough, but at the moment those are the two positions I would focus most on.”