Deadline Day: Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal do need more signings
Gunners must act or fall behind in race for Premier League supremacy
Last Updated: 02/02/14 11:06am
Days after manager David Moyes signed Juan Mata from Chelsea for a club record £37.1m, Neville says United do need to bolster their squad to boost their hopes of successfully defending their crown.
Chelsea are thought to be close to signing Kurt Zouma from St Etienne while Manchester City linked to Porto duo Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando - and Neville is convinced that United are working hard behind the scenes to bolster their options.
"United do need more signings - whether they'll get them or not is another matter, I suppose," he said. "They will obviously be targeting players.
"In the summer when Manchester United made bids for players it was quite public and everyone was aware of it so I would say at this moment in time with the way that football works now - with agents and people around - I would say that they probably haven't made bids for players, otherwise we would have heard about it.
"At this moment in time they must feel as though they can't get their hands on the players that they want - but I wouldn't rule anything out.
"Signing Mata was a boost. I was at the game on Tuesday against Cardiff and I thought that Van Persie returning, particularly in the first part of the game, was the biggest boost. Rooney came on, Mata did a couple of nice things, but you've got to remember that they - like Van Persie - are probably not at their highest fitness levels.
"Mata played a couple of good crosses and he's obviously good on the ball and they've lacked creativity in the final third amongst other things in this last couple of months. So Mata will add something to them. They needed someone to lift the club because it had been a bit flat and the confidence and belief had been low."
Gary's Deadline Day thoughts - club-by-club
Arsenal need to strengthen up front...
Gary: I thought Arsene Wenger would do business in this transfer window - he obviously tried - particularly in the centre forward position. Walcott got injured and there's an injury to Ramsey so Giroud hasn't got what you would call a genuine understudy - and is he top of the tree when it comes to trying to win a Championship? I did think that with other teams in transition - United, City and Chelsea - this is a great opportunity for Arsenal to win the title this season. But looking at the performances of City at the moment and Chelsea in the last month, I think they will fall short. I thought the best chance they had was looking at the Bayern Munich games and forgetting them so they can concentrate on the league. I suppose they can still hope for Manchester City to get injuries or for something to go wrong at Chelsea but I do see them falling behind in the next couple of months given their fixture list.
Man City aren't too far from European success
Gary: They probably do need reinforcements but not to the extent of others. I thought the performance against Tottenham on Wednesday was fantastic. I know Tottenham fans can look at a couple of decisions that didn't go their way but they were never winning that match - that was a fantastic performance from City. Last season we were talking about the Premier League not being able to attract players, about the fact that it looked like we were way off when it came to European competition, looking at Manchester City at this moment in time with Chelsea coming up on the rails a little bit, I feel as though there are two teams there that aren't too far away. I thought the power and strength in City's performance the other night was brilliant to watch.
Improving Chelsea still need a striker
Gary: Chelsea must have something lined up for the summer; in November Jose Mourinho said they weren't going to sign a centre-forward in January, which I thought was a strange thing to say especially given that they brought in Saleh, another winger and Matic. There's talk of the boy Kurt Zouma, who I watched in the French team in the under-20s World Cup that they went on to win in the summer. If you look at the 0-0 the other night against West Ham up front may be where it ultimately costs Chelsea this season. There has been a big improvement in them the last month. In October Mourinho didn't look that happy with the group at his disposal - he didn't feel it was his team - but I think there have been signs this month in the performances against United and Liverpool in particular, that I've seen, and in the second half against Southampton that the Mourinho team is developing here. But it may have to be next season before they get to the point where he wants them.
Can Konoplyanka cut it at Anfield?
Gary: Yevhen Konoplyanka was a big target when Ukraine played England. He's a right-footed left winger, he's quick and plays on the counter-attack well. He's got a fantastic shot and scored against us at Wembley in the first game of the qualifying campaign. He can beat a man but he always cuts back onto his left foot as a left winger. The big question with him is how he travels and whether he can bring that talent over with him. Can he develop over here with Liverpool and settle into the different environment?
Zaha would benefit from Cardiff loan move
Gary: People would argue that Zaha's development has been halted in the last few months because he's not played a lot of football but I suppose in some ways they were bedding him in at Manchester United and getting him used to the club. He does now need to play football, I think that young players that are developing can't be out of the game too long, particularly when you think of the season and impact he had last year. He'll want to get back playing in front of big crowds and where it matters and that is obviously first team football. He's had enough time out of the limelight now and I think it would be good for him to have three or four months of football towards the end of the season.
Hennessey can bring Palace solidity
Gary: I thought Crystal Palace were finished a few months ago. I never thought there was any way of them getting out of it and credit to Tony Pulis with what he he's done there. He's now strengthening his squad and I think a goalkeeper is always such vital part of the team and Tony has built a lot of his around the 'keeper and a great defence. Speroni is a little erratic to say the least, so he'll be hoping for more solidity in that position from Wayne Hennessey.
Hammers need to give Carroll support
Gary: West Ham will benefit from the confidence with the Cardiff win and they got a good result at Chelsea. Sam Allardyce was at his best after the match and he'll be delighted with the way in which that went. I suppose in some ways getting Andy Carroll back is biggest thing for West Ham, if they can get another player who can potentially score goals for them it would lift them. I think Sam will be ok with West Ham because of his experience, I've got a little bit more concern for Fulham I have to say.
Swansea seek Schlupp and face fight with Fulham for Mitroglou
Gary: I think Swansea will stay in the Premier League come what may, I do think they are going through a difficult period but I think they'll have enough. It's all about getting the best players that they've got fit and firing that's the main thing for Swansea and Michael Laudrup. I know it's been a bit of a dip for them, but Europa League football is always tough for teams that don't have the strength and depth of squad. Fulham need something. They've got Berbatov and other players that can score goals, but they need energy. They need energy because they've got a lot of older players.
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