Gary Neville feels that Manchester United ought to find a quick replacement for Victor Lindelof.
Manchester United were abysmal against Crystal Palace during their Premier League opener, losing the Old Trafford fixture 3-1 on Saturday. A Wilfried Zaha brace and an Ando Townsend goal populated the Eagles’ hurrahs on the night while the Red Devils had Donny van de Beek’s debut goal as pale consolation.
The defensive errors were out there and Gary Neville found special fault with one of the centre-backs.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville was clear on his stance on United’s backline and what is missing.
He states: “One of the areas that Manchester United are going to try and strengthen is centre-back and it has to be a quick one. Someone who can defend one-on-one. But you look through all the best centre-back partnerships down the years, they’ve always had a quick one in amongst them.”
The former United player also adds that Victor Lindelof was outdone by Zaha in every regard and that the Swede simply lacked the requisite mobility and quickness.
Neville goes on to make a categorical statement, adding: “You can talk about Jadon Sancho all you like, but until they get a centre-back in who can run and defend one-on-one, you’re never going to win a league.”
The player-turned-pundit certainly knows what he is on about and the errors that United have made cement his judgement. In fact, while Neville himself does admit that the defending has improved in the past few months, it is clearly not of the standard that is to be expected of the club.
In terms of amending this issue, United are currently linked with RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano although the 21-year-old Frenchman seems unlikely for an immediate departure.
The manner in which Palace tore apart and found their way through the backline ought to be a grave concern for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and company.