Gary Neville names the ONE Liverpool player he'd pinch for Man Utd

Gary Neville has revealed which one Liverpool player he would pick in Manchester United’s team if given the chance. 

The Reds travel to Old Trafford on Sunday April 7, for a crucial Premier League fixture following Thursday night’s visit of Sheffield United

There is plenty riding on the weekend’s game with Jurgen Klopp’s side seeking to press home their advantage in the race for the title having watched Manchester City and Arsenal play out a 1-1 draw last weekend. 

Neville, the former United captain, was previewing the game alongside ex-Red Jamie Carragher for the Sky Sports show The Overlap, when the question was asked which player from each team’s rivals would each pundit use in their preferred team’s line-ups. 

While Carragher opted for Kobbie Mainoo, mainly due to the midfielder’s age, Neville went for a defensive leader in the shape of Virgil van Dijk

United have struggled for a consistent centre-back partnership this season under Erik ten Hag amid injuries to Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, with Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof also featuring prominently. 

Treble-winner Neville believes that if United had Van Dijk in their line-up then he could provide the solidity and dominance that they are sorely lacking. 

Virgil van Dijk

Premier League Nottingham Forest v Liverpool Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool celebrates his side s goal to make it 0-1 during the Premier League match Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool at City Ground, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2nd March 2024 Photo by Gareth Evans/News Images Nottingham City Ground Nottinghamshire United Kingdom Copyright: xGarethxEvans/NewsxImagesx

"I would take Van Dijk,” he said. 

“Van Dijk would bring a dominance to the team, and a presence in the team, that we haven't got. We haven't got a forward as good as Mo Salah but we've got talented forwards. 

“We always say there's no Roy Keanes any more, there's no Vincent Kompanys any more, there's no John Terrys any more, there actually is one now at Liverpool, you think about how he's performed this season in Van Dijk, he's a massive presence on that pitch.”

Van Dijk, 32, is someone recognised by Neville as being capable of generating a culture shift around the United set-up and a leader who could encourage the next generation to flourish. 

Van Dijk has got an aura about him, says Neville

“He's not the same character as some of those maybe that I've mentioned but he actually is quite dominant on the pitch and he does actually speak a lot more than maybe people think and he is actually someone that you can see has got an aura about him,” Neville said. 

“And I think that if you want to change Manchester United's complete and utter culture, they need that dominant person that holds them together. I think that Van Dijk would control Mainoo, even someone like Antony or Rashford. I think he would build them, not break them.”

Meanwhile, Carragher is impressed by young England international midfielder Mainoo, although he declined to mention which Liverpool player would make way in the starting XI. 

Bournemouth v Liverpool Premier League 21/01/2024. Sky Sports TV pundit Jamie Carragher ahead of the Premier League match between Bournemouth and Liverpool at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England on 21 January 2024. Bournemouth Vitality Stadium Dorset England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com , Copyright: xGrahamxHuntx PSI-18861-0005

“I think I'd probably take the young kid, Mainoo,” he said. 

“His age No.1, and he could go on to be a real superstar. I'm trying to think who else in the United team is better than Liverpool playing in their position!”

The 2005 Champions League winner also considered Liverpool’s issue on the left side of the attacking, pondering whether there could be room for an upgrade on Luis Diaz on the part of Jurgen Klopp’s successor as manager. 

“Would that be a position you'd look at, wide left?” he asked. “I think Diaz is good, I don't think he's great.”

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