Manchester United have been told that they must sign a centre-half like Virgil van Dijk to partner Harry Maguire if they want to compete for top honours.
The Red Devils broke the bank to sign England international Maguire last summer, although the £80m former Leicester man has so far proved to be a hit at Old Trafford.
Maguire has been partnered by Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones during his short time at United, but former Tottenham star Garth Crooks says United need another top centre-back to play alongside Maguire – similar to Liverpool stopper Van Dijk.
Speaking about Maguire in his Team of the Week for BBC Sport, Crooks said: “Earlier in the week against Chelsea, Maguire was the villain after getting away with an unacceptable challenge on striker Michy Batshuayi.
“Against Watford he wasn’t exactly the hero, but he played a pivotal role in securing a clean sheet for the Reds.
“Two matches, two wins, two clean sheets and six points suggest United are building from the back.
“I still think they need another top-class defender to play alongside Maguire if they intend to be taken seriously as a top-four team.
“With an in-form Martial – and Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford waiting to return – United have the firepower.
“What they need is a Virgil van Dijk-type figure alongside Maguire in defence.”
Van Dijk has been nothing short of sensational since joining Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018, starring in their Champions League success last season and almost certainly leading them to their first top-flight title in 30 years this time around.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that Manchester United have got themselves an absolute bargain in the shape of Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese playmaker bagged his first goal for the club in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Watford, scoring from the penalty spot in what was another impressive display from the January signing.
Fernandes arrived for an initial £44.6m fee which could rise to £67.8m if a variety of targets are reached, and Solskjaer believes United reached an excellent deal for the former Sporting Lisbon man. Read more…