Wednesday 22 May 2019

'There is no quick fix' - Graeme Souness thinks it will take many transfer windows to turn Man United around

Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness. Photo: Sportsfile
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Graeme Souness believes Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez may be high profile fall guys at Manchester United, as he suggested manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need several transfer windows to get the club back to winning ways.

Virgin Media analyst Souness didn't hold back as he reflected on United's comprehensive Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona on Tuesday night, with the 4-0 aggregate scoreline reflecting the chasm in class between the two sides.

Now former Liverpool captain and manager Souness expressed his belief that Solskjaer faces a huge challenge to reshape his squad, as he suggested most of his big-name performers will be under threat.

"There is no quick fix at Manchester United," declared Souness. "People will think I'm coming at this from being anti-United, but not in the slightest. I'm a football person and Ole has got a massive job on his hands there. There is no quick fix.

"Right now, what you are looking at, unless they have a stream coming through the youth system, they will have to go big, big, big in the transfer window.

"They are not going to do it in one transfer window. After they sacked (Jose) Mourinho, I felt they needed to give the job to someone who had a link to the club and that's what they've done. It remains to be seen whether Ole is the right man for the job.

"What you would have to say with the previous two managers is their transfer dealing have been poor. That needs to change if Manchester United are going to be successful. They have not bought well in the last four or five years and they are paying for that now.

"From the team that started in Barcelona, how many can you say are going to be in that team and be the main men in that team for the next five years? Would you put your house on Pogba? I certainly wouldn't, even though people will expect me to say that.

"Then you think of Sanchez and he will be going out the door. Rashford is up and coming, but is he the real deal? We'll have to wait and see on that.

"The goalkeeper is suddenly looking vulnerable. The full-backs? No. The centre-backs who played in Barcelona? No. (Jesse) Lingard I'm not sure about.

"There are a lot of positions there that need to be looked at and you don't solve all of them in one transfer window."

Souness believes Liverpool's success in the transfer market since Jurgen Klopp's arrival at the club highlights where United have been going wrong under previous managers Louis van Gaal and Mourinho.

"Liverpool have bought very well and you look at the reason why they are where they are and where United are struggling and that's one of the main reasons," he adds.

"Jurgen Klopp has the final say on transfers and they have a transfer committee. That has proved to be successful when you look at the players that have come in like Alisson and Virgil van Dijk.

"United have gone the other way. They have spent big signing players they thought were certain to succeed, but they have not worked out.

"Now United are fighting to get into the Champions League where the real dosh is. They have to be in it, but they can't keep spending £200m or £300m in every transfer window to get there."

Virgin Media Sport will host the UEFA Champions League matches on Wednesdays and the UEFA Europa League on Thursdays.

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