Former Netherlands star Ruud Gullit believes Louis van Gaal should have bought Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels last summer to bolster Manchester United’s inexperienced defence.
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic both left Old Trafford upon the expiry of their contracts at the end of the 2013-14 season and the only players signed were better known for their prowess at full-back, such as Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.
Gullit, who was speaking to Goal at Heineken’s #ChampiontheMatch event on Tuesday, admitted he was surprised a more proven defender was not brought in.
“The only thing for me that is a surprise is Van Gaal didn't buy any good central defenders - that had to be his priority,” he said.
“He was crazy about Hummels and wanted to buy him. So I would have bought Man Utd some good defenders because that was the weakest link.
“For me, that they did not was a surprise. Nevertheless, he gets results. The more results he gets, the more confidence they get and the better they will play.”
The ex-AC Milan star also spoke frankly about former club Chelsea’s current policy of selling young players, such as Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, who played few matches for their first team but enjoyed productive loan spells elsewhere.
“It's their way to make something out of their youth system because they sell them,” he said.
“For me personally, even though I'm a Chelsea fan, I saw some Chelsea players there who never played - they only played second team games. I don't want that for a youngster.
“I want him to play in a league every week where we can play and show himself - that is the problem with that. I advise players when they're young in Holland to stay there as long as they can.”
Join Heineken on Twitter at 20:30 CET on Tuesday, February 24 for Manchester City v Barcelona and the next #ChampiontheMatch event with Patrick Kluivert.