Gary Neville believes the first half of Manchester United’s match with Crystal Palace proved that the club need to sign Jadon Sancho this summer, but after the game he claimed his old club will only start challenging for major honours when they sign a new defender.
Sancho - who scored 17 times and set up 17 goals in 32 Bundesliga games last season - has been identified as the right-winger that United need to further bolster their attacking options.
The form of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the latter stages of last season was hugely encouraging, but United's lack of quality back-up options means they are only an injury away from a serious problem in attack.
Neville believes United need to bring in a fourth option, so if one of them is unavailable or in need of a rest, it wouldn’t affect the team too much.
Neville said on Sky Sports commentary duty: “I did a piece on Monday Night Football earlier in the week where we looked at the numbers: the goals and assists that those three - Martial, Rashford and Greenwood are hitting - and they’re getting to good numbers.
“Getting them back together is critical for United. They do need that fourth striker or forward, they’ve been after Sancho most of the summer and they can’t get it over the line. That first-half proves it.”
However, Neville's focus switched to United's defence after a forgettable afternoon for Victor Lindelof drew to a close.
Speaking after the final whistle, he said: “You can talk about Jadon Sancho all you want, but until they get a centre-back in that can run and defend one-on-one, they’re not going to win the league.
"They’re not going to win the league with that centre-back pairing.”