Gary Neville has urged Manchester United to sign a world-class centre-back before the transfer window shuts next month.
The Red Devils’ season got off to the worst possible start on Saturday evening, suffering an embarrassing loss at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men slumped to a 3-1 defeat thanks to a first-half strike from Andros Townsend and a brace from former United winger Wilfried Zaha.
At the heart of United’s problems were centre-backs Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, who were run ragged by Zaha and Michy Batshuayi.
Neville was far from impressed by what he saw of the duo, whom he accused of “weak” defending on numerous occasions.
And their lacklustre displays have furthered his stern belief that Solskjaer needs to bring in a solid centre-back as soon as possible.
“We can talk about [Jadon] Sancho all we like but until United get a centre back who can run and defend one-on-ones they are never going to win the league,” the former United defender told Sky Sports.
“They are never going to win the Premier League with that centre back pairing.
Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United’s number one target.
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“They have to get a mobile, dominant centre half in alongside either Lindelof or Maguire.
“Over the years, the best centre back partnerships have always had that really quick one who has lightning pace to get across and snuff out the danger. Lindelof and Maguire just don’t have that.”
Neville called for Solskjaer to buy a new centre-half before Saturday’s defeat, saying: “A striker, a right-winger and a centre-half is a must.
“At some point in the next couple of years, Manchester United and Chelsea need to be ready to strike when Manchester City and Liverpool drop below that standard.
“That’s probably going to be when Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp leave.”
United will look to bounce back from defeat to Palace on Tuesday night when they travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town in the Carabao Cup.