Paul Merson has advised Manchester United to splurge £200m to sign three of English football’s brightest young stars if they want to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City next season.
United enjoyed a resurrection under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following his appointment as interim manager, but since he became permanent boss, five defeats in eight have lead to the same old questions.
Solskjaer has admitted his side have faced a reality check in recent weeks, but is expecting a response from his side when they travel to face Everton on Sunday.
The club are expected to be busy in the transfer market this summer as Solskjaer looks to shape his squad and one newspaper headline earlier in the week suggested four would leave and six could sign in a £250m summer overhaul.
Now Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, writing in his column for the Daily Star Sunday, has advised United to sign Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Declan Rice in a bid to push them closer to their rivals.
Merson writes: ‘Sign those three and Manchester United would be a force to be reckoned with again – and they are all young enough to get even better.
‘Imagine a forward line of Marcus Rashford with Sancho and Hudson-Odoi either side of him. I can’t think of a back four that would want to face that.
‘Their pace would frighten teams to death and that’s what United always used to be about and what they need to get back to.’
Merson feels United are some distance between England’s top two, who continue to slug it out in an enthralling title battle.
‘Right now, they are miles behind the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool. Absolutely miles behind,” he continued.
‘I’ve watched them closely for weeks. West Ham ripped them to shreds. Barcelona embarrassed them. Even Watford went to Old Trafford and came away disappointed to lose.
‘This is why I couldn’t believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got the job. This is a massive rebuild. Is he up to it? They need to spend major money this summer to give him a chance.
‘I don’t think Solskjaer is going to get four or five years to get this right. United just don’t have that kind of patience any more, even for one of their own.
‘If they’re not in the Champions League next season they won’t be able to attract any really big, world-class names either.
‘But if they invest in younger talent like Rice, Sancho and Hudson-Odoi they would be getting players who could make an impact straight away but also get better.
‘Imagine what those three would be like in four or five years? Rice could be running the England midfield by then, Hudson-Odoi and Sancho could be two of the best wingers in Europe.
‘Those are three of England’s brightest talents. Give it time and suddenly we could be talking about United dominating Europe again. They are that good.’
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