Phil Neville has backed Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to be successful at Manchester United, despite an influx of additions.
The English pair's places in the starting line-up at Old Trafford are under threat, as Louis Van Gaal creates an expensively assembled squad, but Neville thinks that the two England internationals will show their worth.
United's defence has come under a lot of criticism after looking particularly porous since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure and many expect the new Dutchman to target new recruits in this area when the transfer window opens again.
However, Neville believes that Van Gaal should keep the faith in Smalling and Jones.
“I am certain Chris Smalling will come good and I have full faith in Phil Jones as well,” he said to the Guardian. “They’ve bought of a lot of foreign players, you don’t get rid of your English spine.”
Jones has been ruled out with injury for much of the campaign so far so no blame can be attributed to him for United's poor start, but Smalling has certainly struggled.
When playing he has looked rather off the pace and patience is wearing thin as Red Devils fans wait for him to come good.
Smalling was signed from Fulham for the potential that he was showing, but he is yet to fulfil this promise and he still looks someway short of the standard required to be a regular starter in a team chasing the title.
The centre-back was exposed in United's 5-3 weekend defeat to Leicester City again, and he will have to up his game if the side are to meet expectations this season.
Although they have undoubted attacking quality, the squad seems seriously imbalanced and this will be something that Van Gaal needs to address.
In a time of negativity around the club, Neville's words should serve as a boost to United's two England international centre-backs, though, and Van Gaal will certainly be hoping they have a positive effect.