Gary Neville thinks Manchester United will need “four or five transfer windows to get things absolutely right”.

The Red Devils brought in Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire during the summer transfer window as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to reduce the age of the squad with young, hungry players.

It has been a mixed start to the new Premier League season for United with a 4-0 win over Chelsea, a 1-1 draw at Wolves and a surprise 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

And Neville thinks United will have to be patient as they look to get back to Liverpool and Manchester City’s level.

“I think United are going to have moments like that in this period, there is going to be pain and there are going to be defeats that you can’t quite explain,” the former England defender said on the Gary Neville podcast .

“Beating Chelsea emphatically on the first day, playing well at Wolves and could’ve won the game. Then, all of a sudden, you’re up against Crystal Palace and you lose at home – it’s quite mystifying.

“They’re the type of results you get when you’re trying to develop and change and transition out of one culture to another. All Man Utd have to do is remain patient and stick to what they’re doing.”

Neville added: “The most important thing about the transfer window for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that they don’t make mistakes, not that they do loads of business, but it’s about making sure they have the right type of players.

“It may seem like too far into the distance but I would suggest four or five transfer windows to get things absolutely right and get back to the type of squad he would want to challenge these Liverpool and Man City teams.

“I’ve said before, he’s got to be ready, not at the end of this season, not next season, but the one after, to challenge for the Premier League title.

“Potentially when Pep Guardiola has left Man City, or Liverpool have had another round of recruitment and another set of players in…Ole has got to be ready to pounce.

“It’s a long-term thing, there’s not going to be a quick fix or magic wand from any manager. United have tried David Moyes, they’ve tried Louis van Gaal, they’ve tried Jose Mourinho, all proven and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going down the long road, not the quick path.

“There’s no shortcut, there never is, and for me, it’s now about making it through these difficult moments, like losing to Crystal Palace and you feel like the world is going to fall in but people must remain patient.

“I want to see the nonsense go, the speculation that players want to go, I want to see the disciplinary issues or the little tit-for-tat stuff over the last two or three years where there have been fall-outs, I want to see that go and the leaks. I want to see a team building slowly.”

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