Neville warns Van Gaal over panic buys
United have already spent £165m on players like Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini in the last five transfer windows – only Paris Saint-Germain have spent more in Europe during the same period.
Van Gaal has already sanctioned the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera for a combined £50m and is looking to spend more cash.
“In the last five transfer windows they have spent some money,” Neville told Monday Night Football. “In the previous ones to that, maybe there was under-investment because Sir Alex was happy with the squad that he had.
“I like to go back and look at things. We were sat here 12 months ago and as a Manchester United fan if you’d said to me the champions of England, who’d just beaten Swansea away from home, were going to spend £140million in the next 12 months and be where they are today I’d say you’re mad.
“Of course they need to spend because they have to; they have to bring more players in. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s critical they bring the right players in.
“They’ve spent £140million in the last 12 months and they’ve got Zaha, Herrera, Shaw, Fellaini and Mata. Last season I’d argue that some of those buys were panic buys, who didn’t fit the philosophy – and they’re paying for it now.
“For that money, or a bit more money, you could have got Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Cesc Fabregas and Filipe Luis. For the same level of money that they’ve spent you could have got those four players into that squad.
“Put those four players in and we’d have been saying United were favourites for the league maybe and maybe the Champions League?
“They’ve got to recruit well and they’ve got a manager now who won’t panic buy, he won’t breech his philosophy and he is strong enough to sit there if he can’t get the players.
“The key is can they get the players that they want? It’s not just spending money for the sake of it.
“Last year they brought in two players who I don’t think suited what they wanted at the time – and that’s a bigger problem.”
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