Jaap Stam believes Manchester United still need to add ‘quality’ players to their ranks in order to be able to mount a Premier League title challenge.
Prior to football’s postponement due to the ongoing pandemic, a wave of positivity had started to surround Manchester United, who had embarked on an 11 game unbeaten run, a run which also featured nine clean sheets.
Much of that upturn in form has been credited to the January arrival of Bruno Fernandes, the Portugal international netting three and assisting four times in his 10 appearances for the club, scooping the Premier League player of the month award in his first month in the division, and even being voted into the BBC’s Team of the Year.
The Red Devils remain in fifth place however after an indifferent start to the campaign, and former United hard man Jaap Stam has discussed the progress of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
“There was a lot of talk about Ole when he came,” Stam told Goal. “He had that great run, then when he signed his contract and lost certain games people were a little bit sceptical about the choice.
“But I think everyone at the club knew that the players who had come in needed time to adjust to the club, the pressure of playing for the club and what Ole wanted to do.
He’s only been at Manchester United since January, but does Bruno Fernandes deserve a spot? 😍pic.twitter.com/IgGcmEyWlV
— Goal (@goal) May 9, 2020
“Now you see players are getting used to the way of playing and by bringing in Fernandes, a quality player, it’s given them that extra dimension of creativity going forward which makes it easier at times for other players to get on the ball and get into scoring positions.
“So I’m delighted for Ole that it’s getting better and better. Unfortunately for him it’s stopped now because for the last period of the season they were looking very good.”
Before football’s suspension, United registered a 2-0 win over their local rivals, Man City – Scott McTominay’s long-range late strike sealing a third win over Pep Guardiola’s side this season.
Gary Neville has admitted that he is ‘more confident’ of his former clubs ability to ‘challenge’ for the title next season, though his old defensive partner Stam insists United still need to add ‘more quality players’ to their ranks to get closer to the likes of Liverpool and City in the table.
“Against City they have had a good run of results,” Stam added. “But you can’t look at individual games and say we can go for winning the league because we’ve beaten them several times.
“I think you need to be very stable as a team throughout the whole league, which Liverpool is. You need to play in a certain way now and build your squad in a certain way, then eventually you can build that challenge for winning the league again.
“If I look at it now, I think they still need some more quality players in the squad to make that challenge.”