Gary Neville admits that Manchester United remain a work in progress, but he is looking for the club to be in a position to pounce on Premier League rivals in the near future as “Pep Guardiola will leave Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp might lose Mohamed Salah”.
As things stand, the Red Devils find themselves some way down the English top-flight pecking order.
They could only muster a sixth-place finish last season and are expected to face another hard-fought battle for top-four spots this term despite spending big on the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
Neville acknowledges that United have much work to do in order to catch the likes of City and Liverpool, but feels title challenges can be rekindled at some stage if the club displays a little patience and resists the urge to demand immediate success.
The ex-Red Devils defender told Sky Sports after witnessing a 4-0 victory over Chelsea for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 campaign: “Manchester United have to build block by block and wait a bit.
“They have to make sure they make the right decisions because every time you have a bad transfer window it takes two to unravel it and they have to stop doing that. This summer has been solid, if not spectacular, in the market.
“It's a case of can Manchester United get a couple more signings in January and then two or three next summer and slowly rebuild what they want here, which is a team of players who want to be at the club and are committed and motivated and have the quality to challenge for the title.
“It's never too far away. Pep Guardiola will leave Manchester City in the next few seasons, Jurgen Klopp might lose Mohamed Salah or another key player and then all of a sudden you have to be ready to step in and challenge if it's there to challenge for.
“Wan-Bissaka is young and has potential, and they needed Maguire, who is a personality and dominant force at the back.
“It's the start of something. They will have to be patient. They have a new strategy, it's probably the fourth in the last eight years, but stick with this one.
“Don't keep going down a path and then ending up back at the roundabout and going down another path and doing the same thing. You have to stick with a strategy. There has been a lack of that in the last few years.
“It ended up being a brilliant day for Manchester United. I don't think Ole will get too carried away. He will know it's early but he will think it's a big moment.
“United are building a new team and have [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial, [Daniel] James, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay, there is youth there.”
United are next in action on August 19 when they travel to Molineux to take on Wolves.