Gary Neville: Manchester United evolution more important than Premier League finish

Gary Neville believes the growth of Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to be more significant than their Premier League end this season.
It has been an up and down start to the year for Man Utd, who started with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, before draws against Southampton and Wolves sandwiched a shock home loss to Crystal Palace.
However, they return to winning strategy last weekend, beating at Leicester 1-0 at Old Trafford, also Sky Sports pundit Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is shifting Man Utd down the right path.
«I think that is the 1 thing concerning this United team this year, there is no doubt they look to be facing in the right way,» he said on Monday Night Football.
«A large debating line between Manchester United fans at this moment in time is if what is happening today is decreasing expectations in the sense they have not gone huge in the transport market concerning net spend. There’s a sense that they’ve lost Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera and yet they’ve signed three players that are young and enhancing.
«There’s a feeling that they gone backward and only invested #60m to #70m net. From that point of view, there’s a sense that they need to have bought another center and the other midfielder because the midfield is weak.
«I applaud what Manchester United have completed this summer in a sense as they’ve made enormous mistakes. I’ve been critical of these paying over the top for ageing players, they have reacted to teams looking like their registering players and fear bought. They have got to stop that, therefore there has to be a strategy and a plan — there hasn’t been at the club for the previous seven years.
«What it seems like now is that they’ve gone to a plan of registering emerging British players, attracting academy players through and identifying global talent. At this moment in time, United’s average age has come down to 24, there are just eight academy players in the group, but there’s a feeling among some Manchester United fans this is not great enough and that expectations are being reduced.
«I actually think United have taken a step backwards but a step in the perfect way to go forwards because enough is enough of all of these 30-year-old players arriving, maybe not suiting the design. They’ve got to stop that since it isn’t worked for your club.
«What I’m saying is they’ve changed management. Whether you like it or that I like, it is a change of direction. In Harry Maguire Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, they have got players who have got a future. The three of these have begun.
«There is a sense that Manchester United have young players are they good enough are they not? I look at the players at the team against Leicester and there’s Perreira Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, both James and Rashford. I say are they? At this period in time, no. They have got to prove themselves. All of them look promising and they are functioning at their maximum in each and every match.
«Top four along with winning a prize would be a successful year. That’s where Manchester United are at. That’s unacceptable regarding where United must be, but they’re incapable — after six or seven years of bad recruiting — of moving into first from sixth, seventh or fifth. They’re nowhere near that in this period in time.
«They will get to get three or four good transfer windows. The absolute most essential thing in the window n’t only added a few players of the kind that was ideal, it was making sure that they did not make any mistakes. I don’t think they have done . I believe Man Utd this season will be stronger with Fellaini Herrera and Lukaku, however they won’t be because those players will never get Man Utd.
«Obviously, Man Utd have to win the Premier League name. That needs become the barometer and should never change, but you can not go to winning the league from not enjoying the team with average soccer. There’s a step in the center of acquiring better soccer, enjoying them and the group you can start moving upward.
«There were obvious instances. Everybody in the club might see he was about the path, although jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, he achieved League victory without a prize following four years. Frank [Lampard] and Ole have to convince their board and lovers which they are on the right path.
«I think being on the right track this season is much more important than fifth, third or fourth . People have to start enjoying the group again.»
West Ham vs Manchester United is live on Super Sunday from 1pm 2pm. Clips can be watched by sky Sports customers in the game blog about app and the Sky Sports site. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms along with the Sky Sports Football YouTube station shortly.

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