Denis Irwin has urged Manchester United to be active in the transfer market this summer and ensure they improve their squad from a position of strength – unlike rivals Manchester City last year.
The Red Devils legend, who won 19 trophies in a 12-year spell at Old Trafford, has told incoming manager David Moyes that he should learn the lessons from their neighbours, who won the Premier League title in 2011/12 but failed to build on their success, making a series of poor signings that handed the initiative back to United.
Indeed, departed boss Roberto Mancini even claimed that City’s failure in August 2012 to beat United to the capture of Robin van Persie, who fired 26 league goals after joining the Reds for £24 million from Arsenal, was the moment they surrendered the crown.
“I really don’t know who he will want to buy, that is down to him (Moyes),” Irwin said in an exclusive interview with bwin.
“I’d like Ronaldo back, but he’ll have his own ideas, he’ll have an eye on his own players, that’s totally down to him. But you always need refreshing.
“I think one of the criticisms of City is that they didn’t build on winning the league last year. United made a great signing in Van Persie last year and I think they will be looking to make one or two signings, which is always important to do.”
Irwin admitted that he was surprised by how easily United won the Premier League last term and that he had expected a much bigger challenge from the chasing pack.
“Yeah, I was [surprised]. It’s an 11-point gap,” he said.
“I thought Chelsea got off to a great start and I thought they would be close and that City would be closer as well, but sometimes it works out like that. I remember when we won our first title it didn’t seem like until the last couple of games we got over the line yet we won it by ten points.
“It’s been a fantastic season because at the beginning of it – especially with what happened at the end of last season – you set out to win the Premier League and the European Cup, they are your main aims.
“There’s a big challenge from City, but obviously Van Persie was a huge signing and they thoroughly deserved to win it. It’s a long slog, 38 games in the Premier League is tough, the physicality is still there. So it’s a huge competition to win.”
United are currently the 2/1 favourites to win a record 21st top-flight crown next term, while they are a 10/1 chance to win the Champions League, 11/2 to lift the FA Cup and 7/1 to win the Capital One Cup.
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