Friday 13 December 2019

Gary Neville identifies the type of players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should sign to 'protect himself' at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Getty Images
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Photo: Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gary Neville believes Mauricio Pochettino's availability will add to the pressure mounting on Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as he urged his former team-mate to sign experienced players in the January transfer window.

Solskjaer has put his faith in youthful performers this season, but they have failed to find consistency as the club have ensured their worst start to a Premier League season.

After another lacklustre performance in Sunday's 3-3 draw at Sheffield United, Solskjaer's long-term future at the club is under the spotlight once again and the shadow of Pochettino is now hovering over him.

United chiefs are known to be firm admirers of the manager who was sacked by Tottenham last week, with Neville admitting the Argentine tactician could be an option for his former club if they decide to make another managerial change.

"When Louis van Gaal got sacked by Manchester United in 2016, I said Mauricio Pochettino should have been appointed before Jose Mourinho, so I can't sit here now and say he won’t be the right person for the football club," Neville told Sky Sports.

"But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed eight months ago, the club have taken a different track. I like a lot of the young players on that pitch.

"Now Ole's going to have to be selfish, he’s going to have that ruthless streak that Jose Mourinho has or Antonio Conte has, spend the club's money to protect himself and put two or three experienced players in amongst that group and they could come alive."

Neville went on to suggest some of the young players in Solskjaer's side would benefit from the addition of experienced performers to help their development.

"They haven't got senior players to let them know the expectation of what's required in a football team," he added. "They haven't got the leaders and those around them that set the standard. When I first broke into the team, I had people who set the standard, let you know where to go.

"I was wrong about (Cristiano) Ronaldo in the first two years, there’s no way I thought he could get anywhere near where he did when I was playing behind him, he was erratic.

"When he was being shipped out on loan, if you’d have said to me Harry Kane could be what he is now in those early days, I'd have said no chance.

"Who knows what they could become for the club, but if you don't get experienced and top players around them, they will not achieve it, because they don't know the game yet, particularly away from home.

"(Juan) Mata is on the bench, (Paul) Pogba's injured, (Nemanja) Matic is looking to get away, (Ashley) Young's on the bench - the experienced players at the club are in turmoil a little bit. They haven't got futures, some of them. Others are injured. So essentially they're all out on that pitch, young together.

"There's another thing - they don't know how to approach a Premier League away game. They don't understand that it's different playing at Old Trafford than away from home. They don't have the experience or maturity.

"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to go and spend the club's money for himself, on two or three experienced players."

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