HomePREMIER LEAGUEGary Neville's Transfer Warning Haunts Manchester United 11 Months Later

Gary Neville’s Transfer Warning Haunts Manchester United 11 Months Later

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Gary Neville’s Transfer Warning Haunts Manchester United 11 Months Late

Manchester United is still struggling to overcome a major issue that could cost them a place in the top four.

Manchester United have struggled to grasp the art of scoring goals this season.

The Reds, who will be looking to put Thursday night’s 1-0 setback to Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium behind them when they face West Ham United on Sunday evening, are the Premier League’s lowest scorers. They have only scored 49 league goals this season, falling short of the total they had hoped to attain.

A quick peek at the league table confirms that United’s current goal differential of +9 is an outlier among those in and around them in the standings. Newcastle United, who are directly above the Reds, have a goal differential of +34, while Liverpool, who are just behind them, have a goal difference of +24.

United’s goal-scoring woes were highlighted once more at Brighton, with numerous good chances going begging, particularly in the first half. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Bruno Fernandes were all guilty of squandering promising opportunities.

However, no one would have been surprised by the situation. This season, United has often failed to capitalize on their opportunities, as evidenced by their goal total of 49.

“I know the problem and we know the problem,” defender Luke Shaw told Sky Sports after the defeat at Brighton. “The problem is that we don’t score.

“In the first half we had three or four big chances that we should be scoring [from] and I think that has happened a lot of times this season.”

Shaw’s admission is supported by a careful examination of United’s league results this season. Eleven of their 19 league wins have come by a single goal, while their largest margin of victory is 3-0, which they have only managed three times. They have yet to score four or more goals in a league game this season.

Despite their gains under Erik ten Hag, United have failed to blow games away, instead depending on their improved defensive standards to secure maximum points. Of course, this only emphasizes the significance of the team bringing in a striker this summer.

As has been widely reported in recent months, Ten Hag has identified the acquisition of a new goal-scorer as his top objective heading into the summer transfer window, with Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane believed to be at the top of his want list. United sorely need a world-class striker to remedy their goal-scoring problems, and Kane would be an ideal candidate.

United, of course, spent a lot of time and money last summer to bolster their midfield options, bringing in both Christian Eriksen and Casemiro. While they were correct to prioritize bolstering their midfield after the difficulties they faced in that position during the 2021/22 season, former United captain Gary Neville believes they should have also pursued the addition of a striker, despite the fact that they still had Cristiano Ronaldo on their books alongside Martial at the time.

“We know the areas they absolutely need to actually strengthen,” said Neville, speaking in June 2022. “Central midfield is an absolute necessity. An absolute necessity. Manchester United need midfield players.

“They also need a centre-forward. I know Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to stay and he’s an absolutely brilliant performer, but they need a centre-forward. Centre-forward is a must.”

In Neville’s defense, no one could have predicted Ronaldo’s condition at Old Trafford, especially not at the time when the former made the above remark. However, there was a call for United to sign a striker last summer, and their refusal to do so has had a direct impact on their goal-scoring woes this season.

Despite continuing in Ten Hag’s plans, Martial has not been able to stay fit enough for long enough to get into any type of rhythm, leaving Rashford with the goal-scoring load. United would be in big danger without him.

As the summer transfer window approaches, United must make sure they get the extra goalscorer they badly need this time around. If Neville thought a striker was necessary 11 months ago, he is exactly correct this time.

Gary Neville’s Transfer Warning Haunts Manchester United 11 Months Late

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