Paul Ince thinks Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes is their only “proper hero footballer” and that the club need to “spend time studying a player” before buying.
The Red Devils’ summer spending has been criticised with Alex Telles, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani failing to nail down a regular starting spot.
Cavani has made a decent impact when called upon, as has Telles, but Van de Beek has come in for particular criticism over his lack of goals and assists when given a chance in the team.
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Harking back to the good times under Sir Alex Ferguson, Ince bemoans the current side’s lack of heroes.
“When you’re director of football at a club like Manchester United, straight away you’ve got to accept that fans want to see players coming in that are fit enough to wear the shirt,” Ince told Ladbrokes.
“Too many times in the past we’ve seen players come in and fail. I think when you such big amounts on players, they’ve got to hit the ground running like Bruno Fernandes has.
“Man United have always had teams that are full of heroes; from Eric Cantona to Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane to Bryan Robson, but you look at the current team and you’d have to say Fernandes is the only one at that level at the moment.
“The fans love Marcus Rashford; he’s a Manchester boy and I love him as well, but when you look at proper hero footballers, Fernandes is the only one at the moment.
“Man United have always had teams full of heroes but right now it’s just Fernandes. They’ve got to get back to that level, where they’ve got the right kind of players, those leaders, across the pitch.
“It’s a tough ask, though. And it’s not a cheap task at a club like Manchester United, which is the challenge John Murtough is going to face.
“As soon as United are interested in a player, another £10million is added to his value.”
Ince added: “For Man United, they’ve got to do their homework and really spend time studying a player for a couple of years. I understand it’s tough because you always worry that someone else is going to come in.
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“But if you keep studying players around the world and you’re doing your homework, you’ll bring in the right personalities. Man United can’t afford to just keep spending £50million on players that aren’t going to hit the ground running.”