Paddy Crerand at his 80th birthday party.

Crerand: The transfer I'd prioritise this summer

Friday 15 April 2022 07:00

Legendary 1968 European Cup winner Paddy Crerand believes Manchester United should focus on signing a strong midfielder this summer.

The former Scotland international, who twice lifted the top-flight title while a Red, acknowledged that the 2021/22 season has been a difficult one for the club.
And he also believes United will need to invest significantly this summer if we are to challenge Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea for the Premier League next term.

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“People at Old Trafford expect the team to be successful. And they should,” said Paddy, in his latest column for our matchday programme, United Review.
“United should be competing for the title every year. We haven’t this season, and so fans are right not to be happy.

“The Premier League is so competitive now – Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are great sides, and the standard is very high – but United have to compete with that. We might need to spend a few bob this summer to do that.”
United’s current squad has its fair share of talent, but Crerand thinks that a dominant midfielder could be the key ingredient to help us move forward.
“I always think you want to sign a strong midfield player with a strong personality,” he says, “because they can connect the defence and the forwards, and they can be at the heart of everything.”
Paddy himself was at the heart of much of the 1968 team’s creative work, and the Glaswegian was blessed to have the famously pugnacious Nobby Stiles alongside him.

In the decades after Crerand retired, United were fortunate to possess a series of equally authoritative midfielders, such as Bryan Robson and Roy Keane.

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Irrespective of our summer transfer plans, Paddy says the players currently representing the club have an important job to do in the closing weeks of the season.
“For these last few games, the players need to show their commitment and show that there is still something to play for this season,” he explained. “There’s still something to play for, and if the players can do what I’m talking about – take responsibility – they can still get in the top four. 
“With seven games to play, starting this weekend [against Norwich], there is still a long way to go and things can change very quickly.”
To read Paddy’s column in full, you can order the latest issue of United Review here.