Jaap Stam believes Manchester United must find a settled back four if they are to succeed in the Premier League and in Europe next season.
Man United have one of the best defensive records in the league but that has largely been down to the fantastic form of David de Gea.
Stam insisted United need to find a reliable back four as they prepare for Champions League football next season.
When asked about where United need to improve, Stam said: “It’s very important to have a settled back four. Especially at United, when you’re playing against other quality teams in Europe and in the Premier League – you need a defence with players that can be used alongside each other.
“They need to know what to do in certain situations so that without thinking, certain things happen and the players are helping each other.
“I’ve read and seen a couple of times that the manager is perhaps struggling to find the ideal situation in terms of a back four that can perform for a couple of seasons in a row, but the defenders are still very young and that’s something you need to think about.
“They’ve brought in some experienced, high-quality players but still have a young defence that I think needs to work together for a certain period to get maximum results. That’s how it goes in every team, if you’re building, you need time to get results.”
It is safe to say that United supporters would love a defender of Stam’s ability back at the club.
The Dutchman was a rock at the back and was part of the club’s treble winning side in the 1998/99 season. The likes of Jones and Smalling still have plenty of time to prove themselves but Stam is right that all the best sides are built on steady defensive foundations.