Gary Neville believes the key to Manchester United returning to the summit of English football lies in the transfer market, after years of poor recruitment following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.
United have failed to win the title in the six years since Ferguson’s departure, and while the club have only been able to achieve a top-three finish once without their legendary manager, Neville has put that inability down to below-par performances in the transfer market.
As a result, Neville – who previously called for patience amongst the United faithful – says that the team cannot expect to suddenly challenge for the title, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must emulate Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool if he is to reinstall United at the height of domestic and European football once again.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he said: “Top four and winning a trophy would be a successful season. That’s where Manchester United are at.
“That is unacceptable in terms of where United need to be, but they are incapable – after six or seven years of poor recruitment – of going from seventh, sixth or fifth into first. They are nowhere near that at this moment in time.
“They are going to have to have three or four good transfer windows. The most important thing in the last window wasn’t just adding two or three players of the right type, it was making sure they didn’t make any further mistakes.
“There have been clear examples. Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, he achieved Champions League success after four years without a trophy, but everyone at the club could see that he was on the right track.”
Klopp may have taken four seasons to deliver silverware, but his success at Liverpool is clear – especially with the club five points ahead at this early stage of the Premier League season.
The German went and bought the players capable of delivering success – with Liverpool breaking a seven-year trophy drought through their Champions League triumph using players bought throughout Klopp’s reign as manager.
Nine out their starting XI at the weekend were bought by Klopp, demonstrating the effectiveness of buying the right players to drive the club forward – and perhaps Solskjaer should take note as he attempts to do the same at Old Trafford.
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