Man Utd must respond to Roy Keane worry in transfer market to beat Man City to title
Former Manchester United legend Roy Keane questioned Manchester United’s midfield as they slipped to a 1-1 draw on the south coast at Southampton on Sunday – claiming the United midfield didn’t have enough quality or creativity. And United might be wise to listen to him in the final days of the transfer window.
After last week’s 5-1 win against bitter rivals Leeds United, it was expected that United would carry their superb performance into their first away game of the season against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s high-pressing Saints.
And especially after the loss of Danny Ings, United were expected to dominate proceedings against the side they beat 9-0 at Old Trafford in January.
But Fred’s own-goal opener prevented any repetition of the 9-0 drubbing, and despite their best efforts United could only muster an equaliser – leaving Keane reeling at their performance.
The Irishman, who made 480 appearances for the Red Devils, was United’s key man in midfield for eleven years as they won seven Premier League titles and a UEFA Champions League under his leadership.
But he was shocked at the application of the midfield that has preceded him; especially Fred, who was at fault for the Southampton goal.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Keane said: “There is certainly one or two question marks with the lads in the middle of the park.
“There is not enough creativity, not enough quality and United will be disappointed with a draw, but let’s give credit to Southampton.
“You have got to be ready to nail him and he just dangles a leg and doesn’t do enough.
“OK, he’s unlucky with the deflection, but he has got to do more and got to do better than that.
The result decimates United’s hopes of continuing with their 100 per cent record, whilst Southampton have got off the mark for the season following last week’s 3-1 defeat at Everton.
Fred and Nemanja Matic are the culprits involved in the centre of midfield – but with the introduction of Scott McTominay coming too late and Donny van de Beek not even coming off the bench, there needs to be another addition to United’s midfield if they are to challenge for the title.
Edouardo Camavinga and Ruben Neves have been mentioned as potential targets, but nothing has come to fruition as of yet.
Yet if they truly want to beat the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool to the title this term, United need to upgrade their midfield as Keane alludes to, with Neves perhaps the most attainable target.
United are running out of time to sign fresh talent in the middle but if they do not then they look likely to suffer in some matches, as they did here, and could come to regret it by May.
There were some positives for United despite drawing with the Saints; Mason Greenwood continued his scoring spree with a cool and collected finish, with Paul Pogba adding to his tally of assists for the youngsters’ goal.
Elsewhere, Jadon Sancho made his second appearance for the club following a £73million move from Borussia Dortmund but didn’t have enough in him to salvage the win for United.
They face Wolves next Sunday in a bid to get back to winning ways – and maybe the Red Devils should be working on ensuring Neves is playing for them rather than their opponents by that time.