‘Lindelof’s problem is Maguire. Maguire’s problem is Lindelof’: Gary Neville claims Man United’s centre-backs do NOT work together… before insisting Red Devils need a defender who will ‘get the side up the pitch and be more aggressive’
- Man United were held to a 1-1 draw at West Brom on Sunday in Premier League
- Victor Lindelof was criticised for his role in Mbaye Diagne’s opener on Sunday
- Gary Neville claims Lindelof’s partnership with Harry Maguire doesn’t work
- Neville says Lindelof would work very well alongside someone like Virgil van Dijk
Gary Neville has praised Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof as a ‘good defender’ who would flourish alongside a player like Virgil van Dijk but has admitted that his centre-back partnership with Harry Maguire will never work.
United were held to a 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened West Brom on Sunday, with the defence coming in for criticism after they lost more ground in the Premier League title race.
Victor Lindelof was singled out for criticism for his role in the Baggies’ second-minute opener, after Mbaye Diagne out-muscled him to head home at the Hawthorns.
Victor Lindelof was criticised in particular for his display against West Brom on Sunday
Lindelof was out-muscled as Mbaye Diagne headed home the opener at the Hawthorns
And as Neville – alongside Jamie Carragher – dissected the disappointing draw during Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, the former right-back highlighted the troubles United face at centre-back.
After Carragher claimed it is too easy for opponents to ‘bully’ the Swede, Neville replied: ‘I want to make a point on Lindelof. Lindelof’s problem is Maguire, Maguire’s problem is Lindelof.
‘I think he (Lindelof) is a really good player by the way, he understands the game, he reads the game, I think he is a good defender. I think if he was alongside a (Rio) Ferdinand or Van Dijk, I think he would make a great pair.
‘The problem is he is alongside somebody who isn’t the most mobile in Harry Maguire, and I think that is the problem that Lindelof has got. That actually they have invested £80m in Maguire, so they are going to have to put somebody beside him.
Harry Maguire shows his frustration during the disappointing 1-1 draw against West Brom
Gary Neville questioned the credentials of Lindelof and Maguire as a centre back partnership
‘I don’t think he does a good job alongside Maguire because they both just drop back a little bit and United need someone to get up the pitch. They have got to get up the pitch, they have got to be more aggressive.
‘They have got to have the nerve to make the stomach churn a little bit, that there is a bit too much space in behind them than there ordinarily would be and that is what the best teams have.’
Neville went on to add that United should in fact look to sign someone with a similar profile to Eric Bailly, an unused substitute at the Hawthorns, to play alongside Maguire.
Neville argued: ‘The thing is they are not going to turf Maguire out. He is the rock, they paid £80million for him, he has played every minute. He is the one they are going to build the defence around.
‘So what you have to do is find the partner for him. That has got to be somebody with the physicality and profile of Bailly, someone who is quick, good in the air, strong and can cover Maguire one on one but is also going to get them up the pitch and allow them to play a little bit higher.’
Neville claimed United should look to sign someone with a similar profile to Eric Bailly (left)