Peter Crouch reveals the signing Man United need to make

Peter Crouch reckons Man United should move to bring in either Kalvin Phillips or Declan Rice next year

Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch (Photo: BT Sport)

Peter Crouch believes that the signing of Kalvin Phillips or Declan Rice would finally transform Manchester United into genuine title contenders.

The Red Devils dropped points for the second game running on Saturday when they were pegged back and held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Old Trafford.

That draw followed their 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa the week before and left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men fourth in the table and two points adrift of leaders Chelsea FC after seven games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was criticised for his team selection on Saturday when he opted to start Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho on the bench for the clash with the Toffees.

Former Liverpool FC and Stoke City striker Crouch feels that Manchester United are not that far away from being able to challenge for the title – but he thinks that the glaring problem that needs to be solved is the addition of a defensive-minded midfielder such as Phillips or Rice.

Writing in his column for The Daily Mail, Crouch said: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has improved this team and the club. They look as if they are enjoying themselves more. There is that swagger back, they are in the title conversation. They were miles away from that when he took over.

“Defensively there are issues, and those arise as a result of throwing men forward as they fail to break teams down. One problem feeds into another.

“Solskjaer will want a midfielder who can link the different units and act as a stable base when the ball is turned over and every great team needs a defensively-minded man capable of progressing the ball. Xabi Alonso was a perfect example during my time at Liverpool.

“Put Declan Rice or Kalvin Phillips in there — spending another huge amount on a new signing — and it arguably becomes the strongest group in the league. That is why it is baffling, with just a central midfielder lacking, that we do not really believe — not when pressed — they can go on and win this title.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has stated his belief that defending champions Manchester City are the team to beat in the Premier League this season.

The Citizens twice came from behind to seal a thrilling 2-2 draw against Liverpool FC at Anfield on Sunday.

“In the first four of five games of the season, I was sitting there and thinking Chelsea are the team to beat,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel.

“Three of four games later and I’m thinking Man City are the team to beat. They have looked seriously impressive against the big teams.

“They dominated Chelsea away [last weekend], they dominated Liverpool in the first half [on Sunday] and should have seen the game off.

“They might be a bit disappointed with a 2-2 draw but they look the most impressive to me. They look formidable at times.

“There’s no doubt they’re going to dominate 99 per cent of their games but it’s just about the finishing.

“When they get over that element and get that right, I think they are the team to beat.”

Manchester United are back in Premier League action after the international break with a trip to Leicester City in the Premier League.

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