Manchester United evolution more important than Premier League finish
Sky Sports…Gary Neville believes the development of Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be more important than their Premier League finish this season.
It has been an up and down start to the season for Man Utd, who began with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, before draws against Wolves and Southampton sandwiched a shock home loss to Crystal Palace.
But they got back to winning way last weekend, beating Leicester 1-0 at Old Trafford, and Sky Sports pundit Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is moving Man Utd down the right path.
“I think that’s the one thing about this United team this year, there’s no doubt that they all look to be facing in the right direction,” he said on Monday Night Football.
A big debating point between Manchester United fans at this moment in time is whether what is happening now is lowering expectations in the sense they’ve not gone huge in the transfer market in terms of net spend. There’s a feeling that they’ve lost Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku and yet they’ve signed three players who are young and improving.
“There’s a sense that they gone backwards and only invested £60m to £70m net. From that point of view, there’s a feeling that they should have bought another centre forward and another central midfielder because the midfield is weak.
“I applaud what Manchester United have done this summer in a way because they have made big mistakes. I have been critical of them in the transfer window, paying over the top for ageing players, they’ve reacted to other teams looking like their signing players and panic bought. They’ve got to stop that, so there has to be a plan and a strategy – there hasn’t been for the last seven years at the club.
“What it looks like now is that they’ve gone back to a strategy of signing emerging British players, bringing academy players through and identifying international talent. At this moment in time, United’s average age has come down to 24, there are eight academy players in the squad, but there’s a sense among some Manchester United fans that expectations are being lowered and that this is not good enough.
“I actually think United have taken a step backwards but a step in the right direction to go forwards because enough is enough of all these 30-year-old players coming in, not suiting the style. They’ve got to stop that because it’s not worked for the club.