Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward should have been on the phone to push through a deal for Alex Telles and lining up a move for a central defender before the full-time whistle blew at the Amex today. Once again United’s defensive frailties were there for everyone to see on the south coast despite Marcus Rashford‘s inspirational second-half performance.
Despite last week’s shock loss to Crystal Palace, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer resisted the urge of bringing in Eric Bailly and instead stuck with Victor Lindelof.
It was a decision that was met with anger by United supporters on social media.
The Swede was run ragged by Brighton forward Neal Maupay in the first half especially, with the Frenchman making a conscious effort to target the former Benfica man.
Lindelof lacks pace and is pushed off the ball too often for a United centre-back.
Luke Shaw had a difficult afternoon up against the Seagulls’ flying right-back Tariq Lamptey, who is doing his England chances no harm with every game he plays.
United are reportedly confident of securing a deal for Telles but are attempting to lower Porto’s asking price, which currently stands at around £18m.
United legend Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear on his former side’s transfer needs before kick off at Brighton.
Ferdinand said improving the defence is far more important than bringing in another attacker like Jadon Sancho.
“I want Jadon Sancho to come to Man United, he’s a generational talent, he’s someone who will get fans off their seats, a Man United player,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“But does he solve the fundamental problems that I see happening with this team?
“Yes they had a fantastic goals-against record last season but there are moments in games, or before games even.
“Are you looking across the tunnel across that line thinking ‘I’m going to have to be at my absolute best to get a chance against this Manchester United team’?
“I don’t think so – and that’s a problem for me.”
Ferdinand is right. United do not need Sancho, certainly not more than they need new defensive recruits.
They were extremely fortunate not to concede more at the Amex, with Brighton striking the woodwork on four separate occasions.
Solskjaer has to build from the back and already has a solid right-back in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
But club captain Harry Maguire needs help from either side of him for his strengths to flourish like they did at Leicester.
And Lindelof and Shaw have proven they are not the players to do that.
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