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Gary Neville snubs Liverpool’s No.1 Scorer when picking Liverpool player needed in Man Utd team



Gary Neville snubs Liverpool’s No.1 Scorer when picking Liverpool player needed in Man Utd team

When questioned about which current Liverpool player he would most like to recruit for struggling Manchester United, Gary Neville chose not to mention Mohamed Salah in an honest response.

According to Gary Neville, Manchester United has to add a dominant center defender like Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool to advance.

After Saturday’s miserable 1-1 draw with Brentford, United is now sixth in the Premier League, 11 points off the top four. There is intense competition for Erik ten Hag’s job as Wolves’ Gary O’Neill is being considered as a coach and England manager Gareth Southgate is at the top of the list of candidates being considered by new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ten Hag’s side have scored just 40 goals in their 29 matches this season – a pitiful tally which puts them 15th in the Premier League in terms of goals scored, above only Crystal Palace, Everton, Sheffield United, Burnley and Nottingham Forest. By contrast, their defence has shipped 40 goals – the fourth best total, behind only the top three of Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Nevertheless, Neville thinks their problems begin at the back and, given the choice, would rather steal Van Dijk from Liverpool, instead of Mohamed Salah. Speaking on The Overlap, he said: “I would take Van Dijk.”

Asked why he’d go for the centre-back over Salah, Neville explained: “I just think that Van Dijk would bring dominance to the team and a presence in the team that we haven’t got. We haven’t got a forward as good as Mo Salah, but we’ve got talented forwards.

“I always think if you’ve got a spine of strength and presence… We always say, don’t we, ‘Oh, there’s no Roy Keanes anymore, there’s no Vincent Kompanys anymore, there’s no John Terrys’ – there actually is one now at Liverpool, when you think about how he’s performed this season, Van Dijk. He’s a massive presence on that pitch.

“He’s not the same character as some of those that I’ve mentioned, but he actually is quite dominant on the pitch, he speaks a lot more than people might think and he actually is someone you can see that’s got an aura about him. And I think that if you want to change Manchester United’s complete and utter culture, then they need that dominant person who holds them together. And I think Van Dijk would control [Kobbie] Mainoo, even someone like Antony or [Marcus] Rashford. I think he would build them, not break them.”

Virgil van Dijk’s leadership qualities are missing at Manchester United



Dave Howarth – CameraSport via Getty Images)

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United hoped they had signed a player of Van Dijk’s quality when they landed Raphael Varane from Real Madrid in the summer of 2021 for £41million. But the Frenchman has not lived up to his billing, struggling to find consistency and missing 39 games through illness or injury.

“I don’t think he’ll ever be that player,” Neville said. “For me, when I watch Varane, he actually defends his part of the pitch very well and the box very well – he heads out a lot of balls and is quite dominant in the air. I just think he’s that kind of centre-half who will always do – and to be fair he might have been at Real Madrid when he was alongside [Sergio] Ramos – his own job really well but I don’t think he’ll impact the players around him.

“And that’s not a criticism by the way, because to be fair there are many great centre-halves who do their own job very well but don’t actually manage a back four. A great centre-half who can manage a back four is your Van Dijks, your Terrys – great players of all time – but he’s just one of those great centre-halves that does his own job really well, I think.”

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