Ian Wright has questioned the wisdom in Manchester United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho given the club’s defensive struggles against Crystal Palace.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side began the new season in hugely disappointing fashion with defeat to the Eagles at Old Trafford, former Manchester United player Wilfried Zaha scoring twice as the visitors secured a shock 3-1 victory.
United’s performance was littered with defensive errors with Victor Lindelof in particular struggling, the Sweden international playing a part in all three Crystal Palace goals in a disastrous individual showing.
Harry Maguire also failed to convince against a mobile forward line and Wright admits the backline is a huge area of concern for the Red Devils, insisting the club’s pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Sancho is pointless should they not ‘sort out’ their centre-back pairing.
“I think you look at Maguire and Lindelof, for me you’ve got to target them now as much as you can,” Wright told Premier League Productions.
“People are talking about who Man United might buy, you talk about forwards – at the moment, they’ve got to start focusing on that centre-half pairing.
“If you get any of those two isolated in any situation, you’re probably going to get something out of it.
“I thought some of Maguire’s positioning [against Palace] was poor and Lindelof, just weak, weak in certain situations.
“They’ve got to sort out that centre-half pairing, for me.
“It’s not good enough at this level for Man United if they’re challenging for stuff. Lindelof and Maguire, not good enough.
“The fact is, that is not good enough. At this level, with what Man United are supposedly meant to be trying to do, people are talking about Jadon Sancho coming, what’s the point?
“You’re going to get Jadon Sancho but still have two centre-halves who got absolutely roasted [against Palace] without actually trying too hard.”
With less than two weeks to go until the transfer window closes it has proven a frustrating window for United and their supporters, the arrival of Netherlands international Donny van de Beek the club’s only business of the window to date.
The Telegraph have linked the Red Devils with a potential move for highly-rated RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, though the club currently have a surplus of centre-back options that are proving difficult to move on.
Neither Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo have attracted significant interest as Solskjaer bids to cut down the club’s seven centre-back options, whilst Chris Smalling remains a United player despite interest in the 30-year-old from Italy.
Smalling spent last season on loan at Roma and impressed for the capital side, with manage Paulo Fonseca declaring that wants to re-sign the former England international despite signing Marash Kumbulla from Hellas Verona.