A man who once served as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant at Old Trafford has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to bring in another centre-back
Manchester United need somebody with pace at Harry Maguire’s side, according to Steve McClaren, who says replacing Victor Lindelof should be a “priority” for the Red Devils.
United kicked off their latest Premier League campaign in disappointing fashion on Saturday as they suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
An Andros Townsend strike and two goals from ex-Red Devils winger Wilfred Zaha ensured that the Eagles maintained their perfect start to the new season, with £35 million ($45m) summer signing Donny van de Beek grabbing a consolation goal for the hosts after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Lindelof had an evening to forget at the heart of United’s defence, as he failed to prevent Jeffrey Schlupp from delivering the cross for Townsend’s opener before giving away a penalty and being outmuscled by Zaha as he grabbed his second goal of the game late on.
Solskjaer lamented a lack of preparation time following his side’s run to the Europa League semi-finals last season when reflecting on the defeat, and promised a swift response as his players get back up to speed in the coming weeks.
However, McClaren thinks United will need to add another centre-back to their ranks in order to avoid a repeat of the showing against Palace, having seen Lindelof’s weaknesses ruthlessly exposed by Roy Hodgson’s men.
“They targeted Lindelof and I think Maguire is a bit more clever and can cope and get in the right positions,” the former Red Devils assistant told talkSPORT .
“They went 1v1 behind him every time – Zaha, Townsend, Schlupp – and he couldn’t cope with it.
“When you dominate possession and you’re playing in the opponent’s half there’s a lot of space in behind you, you’ve got to have pace.
“Manchester United, yes, going forward, have got pace but at the back they’re lacking pace and it was exposed on Saturday by Palace.
“They need that pace, that would be my priority looking at that team, ‘please get somebody at the side of Maguire that has got pace’ because they couldn’t deal with 1v1s.”
Solskjaer will then start preparing his players for a crunch showdown with Tottenham at the start of October as the fixture list continues to pile up amid the coronavirus crisis.