Manchester United

Man Utd need 18 months to perform transfer 'rocket science' and fix squad, warns Rangnick

10:37 AM WAT 04/04/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo Harry Maguire Raphael Varane Man Utd 2021-22
The German feels the Red Devils are lacking the "physicality" required to compete for top domestic and European honours

Ralf Rangnick has warned that Manchester United will need 18 months to perform transfer "rocket science" and fix the squad.

United spent big money after finishing second in the Premier League last season, securing deals for Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane while also bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to the club from Juventus.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to use those signings as a springboard to reach the next level, though, and lost his job in November following a poor start to the 2021-22 campaign, with Rangnick then drafted in on an interim basis.

What's been said?

The Red Devils' struggles for consistency have continued under Rangnick, who feels a squad overhaul is needed for the club to close the gap on the top two in the Premier League.

The German will be replaced by a new permanent manager in the summer, but will be staying on in a consultancy role, and has identified a lack of "physicality" as the main issue for his successor to address.

Speaking after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Saturday, Rangnick said: "Manchester City and Liverpool… have been built together and recruited over a period of five or six years - all of them under the premise of how the coaches want to play. I told the board this is what has to happen [at United].

"Whenever the new head coach is clear, it has to be: how does he want to play and what kind of players do we need for that? Then we come back to DNA, speed, physicality, tempo. What do we need? This team does not lack technical players, it can do with more physicality.

"It takes right decisions and [clarity over] where you want to go: what kind of players, want kind of manager and then, in every transfer window, try to get the best possible. 

"This is rocket science. It has to be done and, if that happens, it does not necessarily need three or four years. Maybe in two or three transfer windows, then the situation could be different."

Rangnick admits United were 'second best' against Leicester

The Red Devils' chances of securing Champions League qualification were damaged after the draw with Leicester as they now sit three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with eight games remaining.

Rangnick wasn't unhappy with his side's effort levels but did feel that they were outbattled by the Foxes at Old Trafford, as he added: "I don't think we have a lack of character but what was obvious in some parts of the game is we were second best with regards to physicality.

"It was about one-on-one duels. We spoke about that counterattacking moment we had ourselves where they tackled us twice, within two seconds [and went on to score] and the same was true in quite a few other moments.

"It is difficult to challenge a technically great player into a physical, aggressive one and we have a lot of people who are technical players.

"Leicester were aggressive and physical in many parts of the game and we had problems with them. It is difficult to change. I do not think it is to do with mindset - it is to do with the DNA of the players."

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