Wednesday 22 January 2020

Former United player Irwin urges Van Gaal to splash cash

Denis Irwin of Manchester United in action during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match against Fulham, played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England: 19 Aug 2001 (Alex Livesey /Allsport)
Denis Irwin of Manchester United in action during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match against Fulham, played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England: 19 Aug 2001 (Alex Livesey /Allsport)

Garry Doyle

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland defender, Denis Irwin, believes Louis van Gaal has to sign more defenders if he is enjoy a successful season at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal opened his United tenure with a 2-1 defeat at home to Swansea using his favoured 3-5-2 formation. And while Irwin has no objection to the Dutchman's stylistic approach, he does believe Van Gaal should return to the marketplace to supplement his squad.

"If he is going to use three centre-backs then that is an area he needs to address in terms of transfers," said Irwin. "Vidic has gone, Rio (Ferdinand) has gone. Jonny Evans was injured last week. More players are needed. And so is patience. He is a good manager. He may need a bit of time."

Meanwhile, Cork City defender, Brian Lenihan is buying himself some more time before he decides whether to join Brighton and Hove Albion or Hull City. The 20-year-old full-back will delay giving either club an answer until the early part of next week even though they have each agreed a fee with the Leesiders.

In other news, Richard Dunne said he was happy to accept Rio Ferdinand's bizarre request to wear his number five shirt at QPR.

In pre-season, Dunne agreed to wear the less glamorous number 22 jersey after Ferdinand made his cheeky approach.

"These things don't bother me," said Dunne. "I'm just happy to have Rio at the club. He brings a winner's mentality."

Elsewhere, Stephen Ward yesterday revealed his move from Wolves to Burnley has refreshed his mindset ahead of the new season. Having been stuck in a rut at Molineux, Ward desperately needed to escape.

"Wolves was good for my career but so too was this move," said the Irish international. "To be back in the Premier League again, at a club that is going places, is an exciting new chapter in my career. We've a tight-knit group here - just the type of environment I wanted to be involved in again."

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The Saracens scandal, Leinster's nightmare draw and Andy Farrell's tough calls

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport