Manchester United’s dreadful performance against Liverpool led to Ralf Rangnick claiming they were in the same position as their rivals six years ago.
United were nothing short of dreadful on Tuesday night, as Jurgen Klopp’s team went to the top of the Premier League table in a 4-0 hammering.
It was the latest in a long line of galling 90 minutes for the Old Trafford side, who even needed a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick to save them from dropping points against Norwich City at the weekend.
Rangnick’s time as interim manager only has eight games to run, as they try desperately to finish fourth in the Premier League, and the German didn’t hold back in his assessment of the team after the match, explaining they’re in a similar position their rivals were in when Jurgen Klopp took over in 2016.
“Jurgen came six years ago and if you compare the squad he inherited, he came after eight or nine games and finished eighth, this is roundabout where we are currently,” the former RB Leipzig boss said after full time.
“He had a point average of that season of 1.6 but with every transfer window after that they develop the kind of squad we have today.”
Rangnick went on to point out the players who Klopp didn’t even call on to be in the squad for the game, compared to his own side, revealing the issue with recruitment United have had in recent years.
“I am not blaming anyone, not my players nor anyone else, but we just have to realise what kind of squad they had available.
“Look at their bench, look at the four players who weren’t even in the squad: Roberto Firmino was the only one who was injured.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain wasn’t in the squad, Minamino was not in the squad, Harvey Elliott was not in the squad. This shows what kind of quality and team they have built together working with Jurgen and his team for the last six years.”
Rangnick’s successor is expected to be Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman reportedly impressing the Premier League club with his own honest assessment of the club’s recruitment and scouting.
And it will certainly have to improve, with the interim manager adding that the club could sign as many as 10 players in the summer transfer window.
“Any owner, if you analyse, the team needs a rebuild – contracts are expiring. It’s clear for me there will be six, eight, 10 new players,” Rangnick added.
“And before you sign them you need to be aware what football does the new manager want and then fit into that profile.”
Paul Pogba, who went off injured on Tuesday after just four minutes, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic are all expected to leave the club at very least.
United were already in need of a central midfielder without needing to replace those leaving, whilst a striker, right back and centre back have also been rumoured to be on their shopping list.
On the plus side for fans of United, if they do take six years to get back to Liverpool’s standards then they’ll also be challenging for the Quadruple in 2028…
Featured Image Credit: PA