The former Red Devil has urged the Norwegian head coach to add “two or three experienced players” to his ranks when the transfer market reopens
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to bring in a new striker and an extra midfielder in January, according to Gary Neville, who has advised the Manchester United boss to “spend the owner’s money”.
The Red Devils have endured their worst start to a top-flight season since 1988-9, slipping eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot.
United have only won four of their opening 14 fixtures and currently sit in tenth, having failed to win any of their last three Premier League matches.
A 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday piled yet more pressure on Solskjaer, who has struggled to deliver consistent results since being handed a permanent three-year contract back in March.
There have been plenty of calls for the Norwegian to be relieved of his managerial duties already, with Mauricio Pochettino thought to be keen on the top job at United after being sacked by Tottenham on November 21.
Neville, who earned legendary status at United after 19 trophy-laden years on their books, thinks Solskjaer will have to strengthen his squad in the new year in order to turn the club’s fortunes around and silence speculation over his future.
“Ole needs to spend the owners’ money in January,” Neville told Talk Sport. “He is doing what I call a ‘pure job’. He is essentially clearing out Van Gaal and Mourinho’s players and tried to bring in players who were young and British in the summer, with Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
“But these players are not mature enough, they haven’t got enough experience or quality in the squad and they’re suffering badly. They’re well short in terms of investment and quality. Ole doesn’t want to just be clearing the decks for other people to come in and benefit, he needs to make sure he benefits from it.
“And so he needs to spend the money and be ruthless with the board. It takes a lot for me to say these things publicly because I’m so connected to the club, but he needs to spend their money and he needs to spend it well.
“I would say he needs a couple of midfield players and he needs a striker – that’s essential. A minimum of a midfield player and striker in January. He needs to line up two or three experienced players, because their current players are struggling on the pitch without guidance. They really are struggling, they need support out there.
“You look at James, Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford, they all need experience alongside them. There’s no doubt they’re giving their all, but without some guidance, it’s just really difficult.”
United are back in Premier League action on Wednesday night, as Jose Mourinho makes his return to Old Trafford with Tottenham – 11 months after being sacked from his previous post in Manchester.
Solskjaer will then prepare his squad for a derby showdown against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with Neville unsure whether his old club will be able to pick up a positive result in either fixture.
“I do fear for them tonight, to be honest,” he added. “I fear for them against Tottenham and I fear for them against Manchester City on Saturday.
“That’s not just me being negative; I’ve watched every United game over this last month and if you watch Man United you know it’s going to be a massive struggle for them to beat quality teams. I do fear for Ole.”