Gary Neville believes Manchester United will need to sign “three of four players”, covering defence, midfield and attack, over this summer’s transfer window.
Jose Mourinho secured the services of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba during his first transfer window as Man United manager.
And Neville, speaking on Sky Sports over the weekend, noted that United – alongside the rest of the top six – will indeed require further strengthening ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
“I think you could argue they need strengthening in defence, midfield and attack,” he said. “Three or four players wouldn’t just be in one area, they would be spread among those.”
“They do need strengthening. It’s obvious. I don’t think United have sat there as the only team that needs strengthening. If you think about English teams falling short in Europe, we need to strengthen all our top teams.
“City need to strengthen, Arsenal, Liverpool, United need to strengthen. I don’t think United are in a unique position. The issue I suppose is that every club seems to be after the same players.”
Mourinho cannot make the same mistake as Louis van Gaal: the Dutchman, following a strong opening campaign, landed the signatures of Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sergio Romero and Anthony Martial ahead of his second year in charge, but only managed to cultivate a positive impact from the latter, whilst other top sides saw most of their new signings hit the ground running.
This malaise, it should be noted, was not underpinned by a lack of ability: Van Gaal brought in some excellent players that had all enjoyed strong campaigns prior to their respective moves to Old Trafford, only to then fall short when it came to engendering an environment for them – or indeed more or less anyone – to thrive.
Mourinho, therefore, will need to deliberate carefully over his next batch of additions ahead of what promises to be a thrilling 2017/18 season.