I don’t know why Manchester United didn’t sign this player earlier – Gary Neville

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has questioned why United have left it late to make a move for Morocco international Sofyan Amrabat.

Neville told Sky Sports: “I’ve always felt that he’s not a holding midfielder but he plays in that position alongside Casemiro where he will get on the ball and play, and that’s what Erik ten Hag wants.

“I don’t think the Amrabat one is a panic, because I think they’ve wanted him from day one.

“I think he’s wanted that ball-playing midfield player, go back 12 months to Frenkie de Jong.

“Mason Mount isn’t a ball-playing midfield player, he’s more if you like… I think he presses well, I think he links well, I think he runs forward.

“I think he [Ten Hag] has always wanted this type of player. So I don’t think this is a panic, I think it’s always been Erik ten Hag’s want, a player like this.

“I just don’t know why it hasn’t happened earlier. Obviously the other signings were brought in earlier in the summer. There has been an issue with United getting players out, which has caused United a problem, maybe it’s that.

“But I think with the way the season has started, the performance levels have been poor, I know they’ve picked up six points but that could’ve been a lot less than six points, the Wolves and Forest games they were very fortunate in.

“So I think they have to react. They have to get someone in before the window [closes] because that midfield is a massive problem.

“I don’t think it’s a panic, the Reguilon one is definitely a reaction to the situation that’s occurred, which is more of a panic.

“You’ll know from what I said three weeks ago that Mount, Hojlund and Onana signings hadn’t made Manchester United any better, if anything it maintained where they are at.

“I think from what we’ve seen the first couple of weeks it’s a little bit worrying because the performance levels have been well below what I’d expect.

“They’re nowhere near Manchester City, that’s a fact, I don’t think any United fan is thinking that but what we would’ve wanted is to get closer to Arsenal, make sure we stay above Chelsea and Liverpool.

“That’s the issue at the moment – Liverpool and Chelsea, and the other clubs, Newcastle and Aston Villa, are we as strong as them? I think we will get better, there’s a lot of experience in there, but I’m a little more worried than I was a few weeks ago, but I never bought into this idea that we were better.”

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