Gary Neville has made the ‘worrying’ admission that Manchester United could need as many as six new signings, and believes the club must now enter the market to replace the injured Marcus Rashford.
Manchester United‘s 2-0 defeat to league leaders Liverpool leaves the club fifth in the Premier League, five points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea in the race to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
The club’s prospects were dealt a further blow at the weekend with the news that top scorer Rashford is set for an extended period on the sidelines thanks to a stress fracture in the strikers back, and Neville believes the club must now assess their options over the remainder of the winter window.
“To lose Marcus Rashford is a big problem for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer,” Neville told his weekly Sky Sports podcast.
“He wasn’t blessed with a large pool of strikers and forwards anyway.
“I don’t know how they’re going to cope without him other than to try and sign somebody who can fill that gap and that’s not going to be easy because no one is going to let Manchester United just pick someone off the top shelf and go ‘you have him’ – everybody is looking to look after their own club and they just have to be somehow smart enough to get someone who can do a job for the club.
“It might even be a loan. In the past, United brought Henrik Larsson in short-term and he did a very good job for the club just to get the club over the line.
“It might just be it’s not the perfect striker who comes in in January but Manchester United just need a body, somebody who can get out there and contribute essentially what that team needs until the end of the season.”
Rashford’s injury is the latest blow to Solskjaer’s plans, the United boss already without a host of first-team players including midfield duo Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
Neville believes the current squad is lacking in both quality and depth, and believes the club’s failure to address their imbalances is a worrying indictment of their recruitment in recent windows, saying they need up to six new faces.
“Marcus Rashford is out for potentially two or three months so they’re going to be light up front,” he added. “You look at the midfield, it’s bleak. Paul Pogba is out, having an operation, but there’s more than the midfield and centre-forward that needs changing at the club.
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) January 20, 2020
“They need a centre-back. They need a left-back. They need a wide player, they need a striker, they need a midfielder. There’s five or six players needed in that squad not just one or two. Yeah, immediate to patch things up a midfielder and striker are essential because of the injuries to Rashford and Pogba but there are other things Manchester United have to be targeting.
“It’s a squad that’s had hundreds of millions spent on it but it looks like it needs hundreds of millions more. That’s worrying.”