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'Maguire & Lindelof aren't good enough for Man Utd' - Letting Smalling go was a mistake, says Parker

11:06 GMT 02/01/2020
Harry Maguire Victor Lindelof Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils defender says big-money centre-half options at Old Trafford have failed to deliver a return on investment and expectation

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are “not good enough” for Manchester United, says Paul Parker, with the Red Devils considered to have wasted money and made a mistake in allowing Chris Smalling to leave on loan.

One England international centre-half was deemed surplus to requirements over the summer as another arrived.

With Maguire made the most expensive defender in world football as he completed an £80 million ($106m) move to Old Trafford, a season-long loan at Roma was sanctioned for Smalling.

Leaks at the back have not been plugged by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s class of 2019-20, with Parker suggesting that the Red Devils continue to lack the necessary quality.

The former United full-back told BonusCodeBets: “Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are not good enough. I don’t know how they are going to improve on the two of them.

“They still have players who won’t be taking United forward when you consider defenders like Jaap Stam, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic who were vital when United teams were winning.

“A lot of people are talking about how much money United need to spend to bring in new defenders but what they are not thinking about is whether the players will actually want to come to Old Trafford right now.”

Parker added on Maguire, who has taken on captaincy duties at United but is still finding his feet: “He has done okay. He has not stood out for me and for the money that United paid for him, he has not earned that.

“You look at someone like Virgil van Dijk, who has absolutely been value for money, and you would go as far to say that he has exceeded that. 

“I don’t think they needed to spend that money on Maguire. They got pressured into getting him from the previous manger when they did not need to spend that type of money.

“United were also pressured into getting rid of Chris Smalling which has now been deemed as a mistake considering how well he is doing at Roma.”

It is not just at the back that Parker feels United are coming up short, with the 13-time Premier League champions considered to have suffered a humbling fall from grace across the board.

He said of a side that saw the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson send them into a downwards spiral: “I would say this is the worst United team in the Premier League era.

“The deterioration from 2013 has just been really poor.

“They have only won three trophies since then and if something does not change ASAP, things will only get worse for the club.”

United currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, with a 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal on New Year’s Day preventing them from closing on the top four.