Gary Neville has revealed Manchester United “didn’t have the money” to sign Harry Kane or Declan Rice, but they were the ilk of players the club “needed” this summer.
Historic Premier League juggernaut United have not been the fierce side they once were of late. They’ve not won a Premier League title since 2012/13, and have been way off the pace recently.
Two seasons ago, they finished sixth in the league – the third time they’d done so in six seasons.
Last term, under Erik ten Hag, things turned around. He made useful additions to the squad, such as Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen.
The Red Devils finished third, and while they ended up nine points behind second-placed Arsenal, it showed a step in the right direction.
This summer, Ten Hag has once again added to the stocks of players at Old Trafford.
The manager signed Mason Mount, Rasmus Hojlund and Andre Onana. It was necessary to improve the latter pair’s positions, after David de Gea left the club, and with United having just two senior striking options, but both with drawbacks.
While United splashed around £170million on those three players, former United full-back Neville has suggested they didn’t have the money to sign the players they actually needed.
United failed to make necessary additions
“There was this feeling Manchester United had got their business done early in the transfer window and that was good, but I was concerned the players they had brought in wouldn’t improve them from last season,” he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“I never thought for one second they would challenge Manchester City and Arsenal from the players that they brought in.
“That would have needed a Harry Kane-type signing or Declan Rice, as an example. They didn’t have the money to do those types of signings.”
Kane and Rice were both sold by their respective sides this summer, but together they commanded around £205million when add-ons are taken into consideration.
United spent less than that on three players, and that they needed a goalkeeper meant they had even less to sign players in the other positions, so they had to settle for lesser players than the superstar duo.
United aren’t very good
Neville detailed his fear for United’s season, suggesting that the side simply aren’t good enough at the moment.
“They’re not very good at the moment. There’s no hysteria. I went to the Brighton game as a fan thinking, ‘Could I be surprised?’” Neville added.
“You’re always optimistic. I have never walked over that forecourt at Old Trafford and not been optimistic because that’s the job of a football fan going to any ground where you support your team.
“But 72,000 Manchester United fans in that stadium, who are informed and know Brighton and know their current team, I don’t think any of them were surprised at what they saw.”
The loss to Brighton means United are 13th in the Premier League, and will need a good run of results to turn things around.
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