Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must sign a quality centre-half to compete seriously with the Premier League’s best teams this season.
United have managed to get just one new player through the door. That was midfielder Donny van de Beek, who signed from Ajax in a £40million deal.
They’ve also been strongly linked with a move for winger Jadon Sancho. That transfer saga has continued all summer but time is running out. The current transfer window closes on October 5.
But rather than looking to bring in midfielders or forwards, former Old Trafford favourite Berbatov says the priority must be a defender.
That was the Bulgarian’s opinion after United slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace in their first Premier League game of the season.
Berbatov said: “I and others have big expectations for United this season. They need a centre-half, and probably further recruitment also to be competitive.
“At the end of the day, if Crystal Palace can score three past you, you are in trouble.
“If they don’t strengthen up, it will be a long season for them. They need someone alongside Harry Maguire, look at how impressive he has been since he came in, and he is now captain.
“They need someone who is fast, like Rio Ferdinand was for Nemanja Vidic.”
One such player is Dayot Upamecano of Leipzig.
The French centre-back recently signed a new three-year deal at the Bundesliga outfit. But talking about his future this week, he appeared to leave the door open.
“For now I am focused on Leipzig and I will continue to play for Leipzig. And then we’ll see,” he told Telefoot’s Culture Foot programme.
But he added: “You never know what can happen in a football season.”
United will keep close tabs on the £60m-rated defender.
No need to over-react, Berbatov tells United
Despite the miserable defeat to Palace, Berbatov says United must stay calm.
“As I said, if we only judge on this game, United need to buy a whole new squad!
“But we can’t over-react to one game on its own. They have less than two weeks until the window closes, and they can play some more games to figure out what they need in that time.
“But it’s not easy. It can be hard to sign players, maybe the players don’t want to come, it is hard to say, but their defence is what they need to work on.”