Phil Neville doesn’t think Manchester United can be considered title contenders unless they invest substantially in the next two transfer windows.
United spent over £150m this summer in a club record transfer window to bring in six new faces including Angel di Maria and Daley Blind as well as Radamel Falcao on a loan deal.
However, as United’s game against Leicester City exposed, the defence is currently nowhere near as strong as the attack and it has left United with a very unbalanced side, something Neville doesn’t feel can be addressed unless United invest heavily once again.
“I know United have spent £150m,” Neville told BBC Radio 5 live.
“I think there’s another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed – maybe £100m – before they can even think about winning the title.
“I think the centre-back position is obviously the key area,” he said. “Holding midfield or centre-midfield needs addressing [too].”
The likes of Mats Hummels, Mehdi Benatia and Ezequiel Garay were all linked with moves to Old Trafford but it was Sporting Lisbon’s Marcos Rojo who was brought in as a new centre-back.
He is yet to play in that position for United due to covering at left-back for Luke Shaw and with Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Tyler Blackett all unavailable for West Ham this weekend, it leaves United with a distinct lack of options from an already thin choice in the squad.
Neville is right in that United’s prerogative is a new centre-back but whether or not a big investment such as another £100m will be injected on top of what was spent this summer remains to be seen.
Either way, between now and January the defensive side of United has to drastically improve otherwise they could find themselves struggling to keep in touch of Premier League’s top four.