The former Manchester United captain believes the club still needs help in the back-line, but is hopeful Louis van Gaal will get them back to winning ways.
Manchester United legend Bryan Robson says the club’s next priority in the transfer market should be an experienced centre-back.
United have lost long-time starters Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this summer, as well as left-back Patrice Evra in recent days, and, despite having the likes of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and £30million Evra replacement Luke Shaw to call on, Robson believes the squad still need to add a reliable presence at the back.
‘We’ve lost Rio, Nemanja and Patrice, so they’re all going to need replacing to a certain degree,’ he told Sky Sports News Radio.
‘There are still the young guys at the club, like Jonny Evans, Smalling and Jones, but I would like to see another experienced centre-half.’
In addition, Robson also thinks the lack of European football, following last season’s seventh-place Premier League finish, could in fact be an advantage, as new manager Louis van Gaal looks to implement his ideas and get the club back into title contention.
‘Not playing in Europe – the way the lads have been used to playing on the weekend, in midweek and then on the weekend again – they’re going to have a few weeks where they don’t have a game,’ he said
‘That means the preparation time for the manager will be really good to get the players used to whatever role he wants them in, so I do think we can bounce back straight away and challenge for the title.’
That potential title challenge could well hinge on what further additions United can make this summer, but the club appear to be answering Robson’s calls for an experienced centre-back in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels.
However, they are said to face strong competition from Barcelona for the 25-year-old World Cup-winner and may instead look to Feyenoord’s £10million-rated Stefan de Vrij, who van Gaal is well-acquainted with from his time with the Netherlands national team.
At 22, de Vrij does not necessarily have the experience which Robson believes the lineup needs, but he would certainly prove a worthy addition to the side, as they look to put the disappointment of 2013-14 behind them and get back to winning ways.
Should Hummels or de Vrij be Manchester United's next summer addition?