Former United right-back Neville thinks it’s vital that his old club close the gap on the top two sides this season but suspects they are not ‘quite ready’ to push them all the way.
He fears that a sustained title challenge may only occur when Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have both left Liverpool and Man City respectively, and he thinks United and Chelsea must get themselves ready for a drop in level from both.
‘They’ve got to make progression from last season, and I don’t have that expectation as a United fan that they’re going to break that top two this season.
‘I don’t feel they’re quite ready but they have to make sure that gap is smaller. The have to make sure they close the gap on the top two and make sure they’re progressing.
‘A striker, a right winger and a centre-half is a must. At some point in the next couple of years, Manchester United and Chelsea need to be ready to strike when Manchester City and Liverpool drop below that standard.
‘That’s probably going to be when Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp leave.’
Neville also expressed his concern that Manchester United’s goalkeeping situation will become an unwanted distraction.
‘We’re already talking about who will be the United No 1,’ he added. ‘I personally do think David de Gea will be and the big thing at the moment for Dean Henderson is that he’s unproven at Manchester United’s level. He’s going to come under scrutiny more than ever before.
‘Every time David de Gea does something wrong, there’s going to be that question asked about whether Dean Henderson is going to come in. What we’re about to find out is the deal Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done with Henderson and De Gea. What has he said to them both to accept that they’re going to challenge?
‘Is it a straight challenge where they’re both going to be given an equal opportunity? Is it that Henderson’s coming back as No 2 and he’s going to play in the cups? Has David de Gea been told he’s got one more season, Dean’s going to watch him and then next season he’s going to be in?
‘Something’s going to have to give at some point as Henderson will leave if he doesn’t get in.’