Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has slammed the club’s recruitment policy since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013. United have been big spenders in transfer market for past three years, spending over £600 million since their last league title win in 2013.
Along with the recruitment of many players, United have also had four managers at the club in this small period. The Red Devils also broke the British transfer record twice in four years when they bought Angel Di Maria in 2014 and Paul Pogba in 2016.
The recruitment has not been good enough at United
Gary Neville was on commentating duties at Sky Sports for United’s 2-1 win over West Brom on Sunday. The defender admitted that it is shocking to see that majority of players in the starting eleven for that game have been at the club during Sir Alex’s final couple of seasons.
United have been adapting different approaches in the transfer market under David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and now Jose Mourinho.
“The club's transfer policy has been all over the place and he can see still quite a lot of the players in that squad have been at the club for a long time," Neville stated.
"If you look at that back five today then they were all there when Sir Alex Ferguson was at the club,' said Neville before kick-off." They've signed eight defenders in the last four or five years and not one of them is in the team today," he continued.
"You've got Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Young and De Gea and you obviously have Lingard and Rashford, who were also at the club as well, so seven out of that 11 were there five years ago."
"The recruitment has not been good enough in the previous five years. It's been disjointed with David Moyes came in, then they flipped upwards towards Louis van Gaal and then backwards with Mourinho in terms of the profile of players."
'It hasn't been good enough, the recruitment, it's been all over the place and you can see still quite a lot of the players in that squad have been at the club for a long time," Neville concluded.
United failed miserably to attain their targets under Moyes while Van Gaal went for Galacticos in his first season. However after the failures of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, Van Gaal looked to bring players who were young and fit his system.
Anthony Martial and Sergio Romero have been doing well from that batch of signings as for the rest of them, they've either left the club or are now merely fringe players under Mourinho.
Mourinho has brought some stability to United
The Portuguese man won three trophies in his first season and they have been doing well for most parts of this season. However, apart from results on the pitch, Mourinho has also done fairly well in the transfer market.
He has strengthened the spine of the team, with the majority of his signings improving the side. United still need to improve their approach in order to challenge their neighbours, though, with City currently running away with the title this season. Mourinho also needs to be ruthless with the fringe players and increase the qualitative depth of the squad.