Gary Neville’s Judgment on Transfer Date: Sky Sports Expert on Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Saul Niguez, Harry Kane, Arsenal and More | Football news


How Ronaldo fits into Man Utd’s team

I don’t think United needs to adjust too much for his arrival. They have fantastic strikers, also good creative players, with Jadon Sancho wide, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, they should give him a lot of opportunities.

I love Edinson Cavani so it is a question of whether they can play either or both or both? Everyone, including me, expects him to be number nine, but could he play Cavani on the left, Greenwood or Sancho on the right? That would be a goal guarantee.

Their performances so far have made it really difficult for them in their two away games, but they have a number of players who can win a game in a moment. His willingness and will to score goals is better than anyone. The big question is whether it will be enough to win the title. I don’t think it is, the Premier League is the strongest since the mid-2000s.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s relationship with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would have played a crucial role in his decision to return to Old Trafford, says Gary Neville.

I think for Manchester United it’s an incredible addition to their squad, United needed a center-forward but in terms of physical appearance he’s almost 28, 29, 30 years old if you look at him. People will look at a young Cristiano and think of how he used to beat five or six players in wide areas, now he’s more efficient.

If Cristiano Ronaldo had been there eight years ago, he would still be called a world class player. His movement in the penalty area, his goals, the serenity in front of the goal and the ability to seize opportunities still make him world class – anything but over the hill.

James’ move to Leeds is good for everyone involved – Lingard should have moved too

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After nearly joining Leeds in January 2019, Daniel James has now been signed by the Yorkshire Club – and says he can’t wait to run in front of Elland Road believers.

It’s really good for Dan James. It’s one of those who find this a win-win situation. He came to United and always did his best, he was a massive threat on the counterattack but United have a lot of players in those areas.

It’s really important that young players go out and play and Leeds has always wanted it. They wanted it the first time United got it instead. It will suit the way they play on the counterattack at this rate. He’ll love it there, the audience is big, a club that demands a lot.

It’s good for United to get the money they made and good for Dan to advance his career at a good club.

I’m disappointed Jesse Lingard didn’t leave. He’s going to get a couple of games but I think he had something at West Ham that meant he got up to be a really good player and went back to the squad, that’s disappointing. Sometimes you have to fly the nest and go.

Saul’s arrival and Chelsea’s solidity under Tuchel make it difficult to stop them

Saul Niguez reportedly caught Manchester United's interest

Saul is just another excellent player. He has tremendous experience at the top of La Liga, tremendous experience in the Champions League and at international level. It fits the Chelsea profile of players ready to sign. This is Chelsea’s model, and if you look at what they did in this transfer window in terms of pros and cons, it was again an exemplary performance by them.

You are a strong team. I’ve seen her twice this season, at Arsenal and Anfield. This is a really good team, a team that wins and is ready to win more. When they went down to 10 men on Anfield Road I never really thought it would be easy for Liverpool to break Chelsea in the second half. Then you know that you are playing against a good team because that is the hardest place.

And the addition of Saul along with Romelu Lukaku makes them stronger and stronger and stronger. In midfield with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic they look really strong. They only need two with their style of play, but Saul’s addition means they can challenge on all fronts. It strengthens them tremendously and makes them even more impressive than they were at Anfield last Saturday.

You could argue that Chelsea may be a bit light at the back, but what they have is a system of playing with these two players sitting in front of that back three which makes them solid. So what Thomas Tuchel has been doing since coming here is perhaps to see that they can’t be a back four.

If you look at them as two center-backs you wouldn’t be sure if they win the league but with the three they have behind and sometimes it becomes a five with the two protect in front, Chelsea are more than comfortable.

They have a game system that protects individuals from potentially being isolated now with the confidence and belief they have when you win a Champions League like last season and with the deals they made in the transfer window have, they will be very difficult to stop.

Kane will be disappointed, but people will move on

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Tottenham striker Harry Kane said he doesn’t think his reputation has been tarnished after his transfer saga this summer.

At the end of the day he tried to leave the club. I can understand why he tried to leave, if Man City offered you a position on his team under Pep Guardiola it would have been a life changing experience for him.

Spurs had a great start to the season but the reality is they won’t win the Premier League. Man City has a big chance and if Kane had gone there it would have been a banker.

He will be disappointed but he is sensible enough to know that he has given a lot to Tottenham over the years and it will be forgotten once he gets back from England and can score again.

I’ve played with players at United who sometimes wanted to leave, but when they calmed down and it was clear they weren’t going to leave, people forgot.

Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to go to Real Madrid and had to stay another 12 months. There are many such incidents in football. Check out Mbappe right now.

Whether it’s new signings, Arsenal need older players to stand up

Mikel Arteta hugs Martin Odegaard as he leaves the square (dpa)

Mikel Arteta has brought in a lot of new players – but needs his leaders to show leadership, says Neville

Mikel Arteta has to get these players fit together and in the locker room. He’s had problems with Covid but pressure is building up at Arsenal because their performances have been poor, withered and flaky.

There are ways to lose games and Arsenal have done it in the worst possible way where it looks like they have been overrun. You need to regain some momentum after the internationals. There are no signings that I look at and think, “They excite me,” but they have a group that needs to get together and team up quickly.

Sometimes it’s not the signings that bring them to Arsenal, but the older players that you look at and think, “What are they getting from them?” Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Granit Xhaka … they have to work hard to create an atmosphere in this dressing room where they all stand together and behind the coach.

They have to work for each other and be hard to beat on the pitch before worrying about winning lots of games. They have been very easy to beat so far this season which is not a good trait.

I’m not sure what Arsenal’s transfer strategy is. It seems a bit over the top. Maybe there is, but it’s not clear. Sometimes you see a signature on the left and think you could see where it’s from, but Arsenal have some of them.

I’m not sure what Arsenal’s transfer strategy is. It seems a bit over the top. Maybe there is, but it’s not clear.

Gary Neville on Arsenal

I’m not sure what style of play they are aiming for, but it will all come out in the next few weeks. Man Utd came from a time under Sir Alex Ferguson and it’s very difficult. Arsenal, the hangover of the Arsene Wenger era, also suffers from this.

You’re trying to move the club forward, I keep thinking of David Moyes’ comment that you go inside and the dad is gone and you are the stepdad. I think Manchester United will be leaving almost 10 years later, but there is probably still some element of that at Arsenal.

It’s not necessarily in the squad, sometimes it’s the non-soccer team that holds everything back, this feeling of not being happy in the club. Something is wrong at Arsenal, I think there is a lack of security at the top, you only have to stabilize after your time with Arsene Wenger.

PSG are trying with Mbappe, Neymar, Messi. To write history

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Transfer Show’s Kaveh Solhekol reports that Real Madrid have given up their attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe in this transfer window and the striker will attend for free next summer.

It’s a strange one. If you can leave for free next summer, most of that £ 197 million will go to Mbappe! He’ll have clubs that offer huge sums of money [which will go] in his pocket.

PSG doesn’t surprise me at what they’re trying to create a story this season, a legacy to hold together at this club and Messi, Mbappe and Neymar are at the forefront of that.

Maybe they think that if he plays with them they can work on signing a new contract and Real Madrid’s interest will pass or something will happen.

I’m not sure where Real Madrid get their money from, but it’s amazing. In any other club in the world they would accept this deal a year from the end – but Qatar doesn’t have to accept that.