Manchester United summer transfer options at centre back: From Raphael Varane to


Manchester United‘s win over Newcastle last night kept them in second spot in the Premier League but once again the result couldn’t mask their defensive frailties.

Following the 3-1 victory at Old Trafford Paul Scholes became the latest United legend – Gary Neville had a pop last week – to pinpoint Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rearguard as their weak spot.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were the men in the middle but United looked shaky against the misfiring Magpies and Scholes said: ‘They are missing a real dominant centre-back. You look back at the history of the teams that win leagues they have real leaders in the back four.

Harry Maguire could be a regular in a title-winning side but needs an authoritative defender next to him, according to Paul Scholes

His centre-back partner against Newcastle, Victor Lindelof, is currently the weak link in the United backline

Manchester United beat Newcastle 3-1 on Sunday but were sloppy and open at the back

Legendary former midfielder Scholes was speaking after United's 3-1 win against Newcastle

Legendary former midfielder Scholes was speaking after United’s 3-1 win against Newcastle

‘Maguire could be but he needs someone next to him that can dominate. I don’t think we are far off, the attacking play, the midfield play, Paul Pogba is looking better, Fred and (Scott) McTominay.

‘We have a young (Mason) Greenwood coming of age, the more games he plays the more star quality he will bring, this lad could be a real superstar. ‘There’s goals in the team and I just think a real dominant centre half with authority could take United to that next level.’

Lindelof was outmuscled by Mbaye Diagne for West Brom’s goal in the previous Premier League game and Neville said at the time: ‘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.

Lindelof was criticised in particular for his display as Manchester United drew at West Brom

Lindelof was criticised in particular for his display as Manchester United drew at West Brom

The Swede was outmuscled as Mbaye Diagne headed home the opener at the Hawthorns

The Swede was outmuscled as Mbaye Diagne headed home the opener at the Hawthorns

‘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.

‘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.’

Maguire shows his frustration during the 1-1 draw against West Brom earlier this month

Maguire shows his frustration during the 1-1 draw against West Brom earlier this month

Gary Neville questioned the credentials of Lindelof and Maguire as a centre back partnership

Gary Neville questioned the credentials of Lindelof and Maguire as a centre back partnership

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….



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