Former Manchester United defender turned Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has highlighted defensive trio Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and David De Gea as three players who are not good enough to win the Premier League title.
Neville, now retired, famously turned out for United for 20 years (1991 – 2011) during a spell which saw the English full-back lift a whopping 30 major trophies, including 12 Premier League titles.
Although still a huge fan of his former club, Neville, like all fans has been forced to watch on as a four-year trophy-less spell shows no signs of stopping.
United’s last major trophy came when former manager Jose Mourinho guided the side to the 2017 Europa League, with their last league title coming under Sir Alex Ferguson all the way back in 2013.
Although appearing to be early title contenders this campaign, a poor set of recent results have more or less handed the title to rivals Manchester City.
Currently competing in the FA Cup and Europa League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to claim at least one, but there is no denying, fans would trade it all for the chance to see the side lift their 21st league title.
However, Neville believes there is still a long way to go before fans can dream of lifting England’s most illustrious title as there are currently at least three players playing week in – week out who are not good enough.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show, as relayed on their website, the retired defender said: “I don’t think the discussions we’re having now are anything new. We said at the start of the season that Manchester United needed a centre-back, and that there were question marks over the goalkeeper.
“If you look at the goal against West Brom, it’s not going to take those feelings away. They were taken back into the box with Diagne fighting with Lindelof, and West Brom keep the ball alive. Sam Allardyce will have worked on this all week.
“He’d have worked on positions in wide areas, and both Maguire and Lindelof don’t shift up. They don’t move their feet three, four, five yards. They never do and they have to do it. If they don’t start doing it, they’re never going to get to a point where they’re going to win the league.
“Going back 10 years it was the same – you’ve got to be aggressive in getting out your box. What happens is Lindelof gets pinned. He got pinned by a player who’s stronger than him, who outmuscles him and who bullies him. Once you’re in that position, it’s a nightmare.
“There will be people who will say it’s a foul. It’s never a foul. It’s never a foul at all. It’s a brilliant header. Lindelof is too deep and is outmuscled. He’s fighting with the striker.
“When I played centre-back for United, which would be around 10 to 15 games a season, there was always a game where physically I just couldn’t handle it. I’ve got two goals I can remember which stick in my mind as massive learning experiences.
“The first was against Les Ferdinand [QPR, December 1994]. Les was brilliant in the air and I was like Lindelof on Sunday. He got up early and I was trying to fight him but I had no chance.
“The second one I remember was against Alan Shearer at Old Trafford [Newcastle, January 2002]. Shearer knew what he was doing. He has a similar height to Ferdinand, and I think Lindelof finds himself in this position quite a bit where he gets put under pressure like I was with that goal where I wasn’t tight enough.
“Lindelof does struggle aerially, whereas Maguire struggles when the ball is played in behind him and he has someone running at him one-on-one.”