Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United’s recent recruitment after seven of the Reds’ starting line-up against West Bromwich Albion were players remaining from the Sir Alex Ferguson-era.
Despite investing more than half a billion pounds in the side, only four new signings from four years were in the starting XI.
“If you look at that back five today then they were all there when Sir Alex Ferguson was at the club,” Neville said after team news was released before kick-off.
“They’ve signed eight defenders in the last four or five years and not one of them is in the team today.
“You’ve got Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young and De Gea and you obviously have Lingard and Rashford, who were also at the club as well, so seven out of that 11 were there five years ago.”
While Lingard and Rashford hardly count given the former was in a spell of loan moves at Championship sides, including Birmingham City, and Rashford was only just into his teens, the other five players is quite astonishing.
That’s particularly frustrating when you consider how many ‘replacements’ United have bought for those players. David de Gea is irreplaceable and no one has been brought in to improve that position, but a number of centre-backs and full-backs have been signed.
“The recruitment has not been good enough in the previous five years. It’s been disjointed with David Moyes came in, then they flipped upwards towards Louis van Gaal and then backwards with Mourinho in terms of the profile of players.
“It hasn’t been good enough the recruitment, it’s been all over the place and you can see still quite a lot of the players in that squad have been at the club for a long time.”
It’s not with frequency that this is happening, but this wasn’t a weakened side, this was one of United’s strongest sides. Players like Chris Smalling have been considered not good enough for some time, and yet they are still starting, even after all that money being spent.
Speaking on Twitter about the same issue, Neville wrote: “scary and sobering point to have to make considering 660m has been spent since he (Ferguson) left.”