Manchester United need better recruitment to catch up with Liverpool, Man City

Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United will only be able to catch up with Liverpool and Manchester City if they correct the way they recruit new players.

United travel to Anfield on Tuesday 19 points behind their rivals, who remain in the hunt for an unprecedented treble of the Premier League title, Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

It’s almost 10 years since United last won the title and they haven’t won a trophy since 2017. Rangnick insists that rebuilding under the next permanent manager – who is expected to be Erik ten Hag – shouldn’t take long, but only if the club has a plan.

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“I don’t think a club like Manchester United can afford to take three or four years to get there. [catching Liverpool] — I don’t think it’s necessary,” Rangnick said at a press conference on Monday.

“It’ll take two or three windows if you know what you’re looking for. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s a needle in a haystack.

“If you know what kind of football you want to play and what kind of profiles for each individual position, it’s about finding them and convincing them to come.”

Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool in October 2015 and finished eighth at the end of his debut season. But since then they haven’t finished below fourth place and in 2020 won their first title in 30 years.

“Liverpool finished eighth [2015-16] and the year after they didn’t play international football at all, so Jurgen’s second season focused on the Premier League and domestic cup competitions,” Rangnick added,

“Then it took two transfer windows. But even in the other transfer windows that followed, there were a lot of very, very good transfers and signings.

“That’s what it’s all about. It’s not complicated. It’s not rocket science. But to get the best possible wind you need to know what your destination port is. If you don’t know no, it’s always difficult.”

United have not won at Anfield since January 2016 but are desperate for points on Tuesday to keep their hopes of a top four finish alive. They currently sit in fifth place, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

The team traveled to Liverpool after a section of supporters chanted ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ in the 3-2 win over Norwich on Saturday, but Rangnick insists he is unfair to suggest that players lack effort.

“I’m not sure it’s fair to the players because I know they care,” Rangnick said. “They suffer after defeats like against Everton and they don’t like the feeling of not winning games or losing games. But again, I can understand the fans.

“They are frustrated and they had high expectations. They don’t understand why things are happening. But in the end, it’s up to the club, the board and the managers to analyze this, but not now.”