Gary Neville has revealed that during his time at Manchester United he did not think that they would buy players the way Chelsea and Manchester City have been doing for the last few years.
Chelsea and City are the top contenders for the Premier League title this season, but much of their success in this century has been built on signing world-class players for loads of money.
United have also made some big-name signings over the years, but this summer the Manchester outfit underwent a massive overhaul following the appointment of Louis van Gaal as the manager.
The likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Daley Blind have all come in, while academy graduates like Danny Welbeck have been let go.
Neville, who is one of the greatest players to have played for United, has stated that he never thought that his old club would follow in the footsteps of Chelsea and City.
'The wonderful academy they are building in Manchester has to bear fruit', he wrote in The Telegraph. 'City had one English player in the starting XI against Bayern. That has to be painful. But I have no doubt their academy will bring players through because the standards there are so high.
‘At United, we used to look at Chelsea and City a little arrogantly and say: we would never do it like that. The Premier League however would be a lot less interesting without a competitive City and Chelsea’.
What United have done this summer in terms of personnel changes may not have gone down well with many fans or pundits, but to compete with the top clubs in England they needed to do that. Last season’s disaster provides testimony to that.