Gary Neville has denied claims Manchester United’s squad is weaker this season and has defended their decision to let a number of big names leave Old Trafford.
However, United did bring in Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire for a combined £145million – the latter of which has already drawn plenty of plaudits, including the often highly-critical Jose Mourinho.
There are some, however, who feel United’s squad is weaker than last season as a result of those aforementioned exits, but Neville claims there could be more departures in the coming weeks with the club still looking to offload more deadwood.
Asked if he felt United had adequately strengthened after losing two important players, a tetchy Neville told Sky Bet’s The Big Debate: “Have we lost them? I don’t feel like we’ve lost anything.
“You know, losing Herrera, losing [Marouane] Fellaini, getting Lukaku out of the club. Lukaku was 105kg. He admitted himself he was overweight.
“I think there’s three or four players that the club would like to get rid of. I think there’s three or four players Ole would like to get rid of. I think getting rid of them all at once, though, would weaken the club and weaken the team for this season. So I think he’s getting rid of them one at a time and he’s bleeding them out of the club.
“So, for me, you’re not crying over Fellaini leaving. Herrera to be fair huffed and puffed, but there’s loads of him around. There’s loads of Ander Herrera’s around. He’s nothing special, honestly. There’s loads of him around.”
Asked if he’s confident in United’s existing options, he continued: “No I’m not confident in it but my point is if you said to me put [Scott] McTominay in there for 30 games this season, will he do a lot worse than Herrera? I don’t think he will.
“I genuinely think, I know it sounds crazy, but Liverpool fans on [Jordan] Henderson and [James] Milner, they don’t really like them that much as players, but they actually accept that they give their all and if the team are winning and they’ve got a little bit of good around them, they’ll accept them. And that’s what Herrera is, those players.
“I was one of those at United for years where basically there were amazing players but actually there were five or six of us – myself, Darren Fletcher, John O’Shea, my brother, Nicky Butt – you need that solid element at a club but there’s lots of them around. The real big problem for United is getting the world-class players who are committed to the club.”
One of those exits Neville refers to could be Alexis Sanchez, with reports in Wednesday’s papers further speculating on his future.
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