Manchester United should have promoted youth over Fellaini purchase, says Gary Neville

The Belgium international was the sole signing last summer, with the midfielder failing to live up to his large fee, and the former defender wants a renewed focus on youth talent

Manchester United should have promoted young players from their youth system instead of splurging €30 million on Marouane Fellaini, according to former defender Gary Neville.

The club’s activity in the transfer market has been under question since last summer due to the last-minute acquisition of Fellaini who then failed to live up to his hefty pricetag.

And Neville has pointed to the problem, claiming too few of the players recently bought by the Old Trafford club have been good enough and their should be a renewed focus on youth talents.

“United have panicked into signing players who were not their top choices,” Neville is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

“It was quite public last summer who United’s targets were – it was either [Gareth] Bale or [Cristiano] Ronaldo, it was [Cesc] Fabregas, it was [Leighton] Baines and it was Fellaini.

“They were the targets, it was publicised – and I don’t know why because Manchester United have always kept their transfer dealings really quiet. I’m not quite sure how all of a sudden everyone knows who they are signing.

“But if they can’t get number one, number two, three, four, I’m not in a rush. As a Manchester United fan, I’d rather see James Wilson come through than some fourth-choice striker who isn’t at the top of the list.

“I don’t want signing number eight, nine, 10 because they can’t get number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I have no interest in that.”

Neville hopes Louis van Gaal, who has agreed to be United’s manager next season, will focus on quality over quantity when looking to sign new players.

“If [Van Gaal] decides he wants eight players, that doesn’t mean he should go and buy eight players,” Neville said.

“Signing three or four real top quality – and improving next season, bedding them in and then going again with two or three more the year after is the organic approach I would expect Manchester United to have.

“However, I didn’t expect Manchester United to sack a manager after 10 months, so what’s going to happen in the next few months, who knows?”

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