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Dwight Yorke Urges INEOS to sign Former Man City Player & Discusses Aston Villa's Title Chances


Dwight Yorke Exclusive: Man Utd should Look at Zidane or De Zerbi Because Potter’s had his Chance, Don’t Rule Villa out of Title Race & I fancy MLS Job

Man Utd legend Dwight Yorke spoke exclusively to Footy Accumulators to provide his insight into how Erik ten Hag manages the weight on his shoulders as the Red Devils boss.

The 1999 treble winner also lists which reinforcements the club should bring in - naming a former City player.

The 52-year-old - who spent three years at Sunderland - discusses Jobe Bellingham’s future, the appointment of Michael Beale and his hope of seeing the club back in the Premier League one day.

Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke Q&A

Q. It's been a disappointing season for Man Utd, but Erik ten Hag said that he wouldn't rule out his side winning the title. What did you make of those comments? Is Ten Hag out of touch?

Dwight Yorke - "I would have preferred if Erik ten Hag said Man United still had a great chance of qualifying for the Champions League. The title may be a possibility in terms of mathematics, but the reality is that United's goal is simply to finish as high as possible. Champions League qualification is the bare minimum this season, and I would have liked that answer more than Ten Hag stating he can't rule out the title!

“I wouldn't dismiss these comments as laughable as I'm sure Ten Hag doesn't want to be ridiculed, but he needs to be more careful and nuanced with his statements."

Q. Sir Jim Ratcliffe has a huge task on his hands as he has to rebuild Man United. If you were him and you had to sign three players to kickstart the new era, who would they be?

Dwight Yorke - "If I were in charge of Man United and had to sign three players, then I'd pick Victor Osimhen, Leroy Sane, and Son Heung-Min.

“I feel United are OK defensively, but they lack options in midfield. I wouldn't say the club needs a clearout, but they need at least six new players to freshen up the whole team. Too many players have been there for too long!

“I think Leroy Sane would give United plenty of options on the right and he'd complement Rashford well. Victor Osimhen would inject firepower and goals, and he'd complete my ideal front three.

“Midfield options are needed, but I'm struggling to think of any stand-out names. I feel like Man United have lost their identity in this department over the last 18 months, and I worry about how fragile they look there. I find myself second-guessing the team before each game!"

Leroy Sane

Q. Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial have both been at Man United for a very long time. Is it time the club moved them both on?

Dwight Yorke - "I think Scott McTominay's future is a lot more settled than Anthony Martial's because Scott offers something different and he's a decent squad player.

“McTominay brings hard work and a positive attitude. He can also score the odd goal and brings energy. You need players like that in the squad, so I'd keep hold of him.

“There are a few other players who'd get rid of, though. Martial has been at the club since 2015 and, though he looked promising at the start, he hasn't offered too much.

“Martial is 28-years-old, and you don't let players that age go out on loan! That's supposed to be the peak of your career, and no elite team would loan their best players. The moment that happens, the moment your career is in trouble.”

Q. Martial is on huge wages - would any other club want to pay those wages?

Dwight Yorke - "Martial's wage bill is another valid point, but him going out on loan at 27 means he's not good enough!

“There's always a way to get rid of players like that. I understand the wage debate, but there are ways around that. Martial shouldn't be at Man United anymore.”

Q. If Man United continue their poor form and Ten Hag does get the sack, which three managers would you shortlist? Would you appoint a club legend, like Rooney, in a caretaker role?

Dwight Yorke - "I don't see any benefit of appointing Wayne Rooney in a caretaker role should Ten Hag get sacked. Wazza shouldn't be put in that position - especially before me!

“The club may have to consider putting a club legend in charge on an interim basis, but I think Zinedine Zidane is the only option the board should seriously consider right now. Look at the stature he has in the game and what he achieved at Real Madrid!

“There aren't too many other options out there - a lot of them have already had their chance! People are saying Graham Potter should take over, but he's already had a chance at an elite club.

“Managers from smaller clubs should always grab the opportunity to take over a huge club at United. Elite clubs have bigger revenues, players, and expectations, and managers should jump at the chance. People say the pressure is huge, but that's just part of the expectation. Everything is better at a big club!

“Those arriving from smaller clubs should aim to go forward instead of backwards. Graham Potter had the chance at Chelsea, and I don't think he'd suddenly succeed at Man United. He was a failure at Chelsea and he didn't capitalise.

“I think Roberto De Zerbi may have a chance, but that remains to be seen. He's one name to consider, but everybody else has had their chance. I don't see anybody outside of Zidane and De Zerbi."

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

Q. Jose Mourinho's contract at Roma is up in the summer. Would you be tempted to see him return to Man United?

Dwight Yorke - "I think Jose Mourinho is fantastic and I respect what he's done in the game, but I don't think he fits Man United. He did a reasonable job during his spell, but the club needs new blood and new energy. It's the same as getting new players!

“Man United need new energy and new ideas rather than the same old cliches. There are some young, hungry managers out there who want to bring success, they deserve a chance to do that."

Q. Antony has really been struggling at Man United. What do you make of him? What would Roy Keane have said about him if they played together?

Dwight Yorke - "I can't speak for how Roy Keane would have perceived Antony as you'd have to ask him!

“I think back to players who succeeded at Man United, and all of them were eager to write their names into the history of the club and they wanted to be a part of the setup. I'm not sure if Man United players understand that these days.

“I don't think it's a surprise that Kevin De Bruyne came back and delivered an assist within twenty minutes! I'm also not surprised that we're still talking about Anthony and what he brings because he cost £85million! There are always going to be question marks when you sign a player for that much, especially when they're playing for a club like Man United.

Players like Antony will understand they're not performing as they should. It's tough for him and I feel for him, but it's both his and the club's responsibility if things don't work out.

“The club has to move these players on as quickly as possible or else they'll find themselves in the same position every year - having average players signed to long contracts and not contributing what we expect of them."

Q. One player who could leave Manchester United is Andre Onana, who is currently at AFCON. Is it now Advantage to Man United, considering how bad he's been?

Dwight Yorke - "Andre Onana is another player who has come in with a lot of expectations and not performed as planned.

“He's tried to fight for his position and the manager has shown faith, but I don't understand why they want to play him in the FA Cup? He has to give the second goalkeeper a chance, so I don't see why that can't be in the cup competitions rather than throw him into the deep end against Tottenham this weekend, if Onana heads to AFCON duty.

“I don't understand Ten Hag's thinking. He might see something I can't, but he has to bring in a new 'keeper, and I don't see why he's reluctant to give up Onana. Ten Hag has to make a decision on the goalkeeper, and it seems strange that he didn't test him out against Wigan. That was the perfect time to introduce a new goalkeeper!”

Andre Onana

Q. United seem like the only club to make these strange choices! Wouldn't you agree?

Dwight Yorke - "If I were in the management department, I'd let Onana go to the AFCON and then try a new goalkeeper. I'd realise that the ideal game to test him would have been Wigan in the Cup rather than a Premier League side at the weekend! It's a no-brainer.

“There are a lot of questions, but very little in the way of answers."

Q. Victor Lindelof, Hannibal Mejbri, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are set to sign new contracts. Does that show the ambition of the club? Do these players deserve it?

Dwight Yorke - "I wouldn't say awarding Victor Lindelof, Hannibal Mejbri, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka new contracts shows ambition - it shows that the club has invested a lot in them and they'll lose money if they walk away.

“The club's hands are tied thanks to the crazy amount of money they've invested in these players. The only way to do that is to award them to new contracts. Wan-Bissaka cost £50million, Mejbri cost £5million, and Lindelof cost £35million! That's a lot of money, and the club will want to protect those assets as much as possible.”

Q. Do you like Morgan Gibbs-White as a player who could replace Donny Van de Beek?

Dwight Yorke - "I don't really rate Morgan Gibbs-White. I think he's ok, but he's not what United need.

New transfers aren't all about bringing in squad players - you need to bring in those who improve your team and help bring it to where it wants to be. United have those issues at the moment, and that's where the difficulties lie.

“The only way United can make a difference is going out and buying the best players available. There are too many average players at the club! They're supposed to be a bunch of world-class players, yet they aren't.

“United have a lot of international players, but a lot of them don't start for their national teams!”

Q. Are you worried about Rasmus Hojlund? There's talk about Ivan Toney and Karim Benzema coming in. Do Those Options Excite you? Do you think Hojlund is Useless?

Dwight Yorke - "I wouldn't describe Rasmus Hojlund as useless as I feel for the kid and I know he arrived under very difficult circumstances. He probably has the potential, but he has nobody around him to teach him! There isn't too much experience in this side.

“I'm not going to point any fingers at Rasmus, and I'd never describe any professional player as useless, let alone a United one!

“Karim Benzema would offer a boatload of experience, but the club has already tried that strategy with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani. This approach works OK as these players still have the occasional moment of magic in them, but that's not where United need to be! They need to buy players like Son - players who can make a difference to your team.”

Q. People said the same thing about Robin Van Persie! They said he was too old - is Son?

Dwight Yorke - "Sometimes signing older players works and sometimes it doesn't. Sir Alex knew what he was doing by bringing in Van Persie as he had so much experience in football. Van Persie wasn't a surprise to anyone as we all knew what he was capable of.”


Q. Bastian Schweinsteiger Predicted Aston Villa to win the Prem, can they?

Dwight Yorke - “Aston Villa for the Premier League? I wouldn’t say they can’t. They’re now definitely in contention and when we thought they’d have faded away, they haven’t and we’re now in the middle of the season and they’re right in amongst it.

“When it gets interesting is now that Villa are part of the conversation. When you come under the radar like they have done and people say they aren’t contenders, that’s the easy part.

“Now the attention has turned to them and in the mix, can they sustain that? They’re not the hunters but they’re hunted and people want to beat them.

“The expectation has gone up another level and players haven’t been in this circumstances and I’m fascinated to see how they do now.

“They’re the dark horses and I can’t wait to see how they fare as now they’re title contenders, not hopefuls.

“I’ve been there with Villa and they’ve faded away where players - including myself - didn’t understand what it takes to win the competition and we came up short.”

Q. Is Watkins the best striker in the league on current form?

Dwight Yorke - “I would say Heung-min Son is currently ahead of Ollie Watkins on form as the best striker in the league.

“Watkins has done extremely well. I like his movement and he seems a very level-headed kid as well who is always working hard to try and improve his game.

“He’s come on leaps and bounds and done remarkably, and if Villa are to come close, he will be vital for them as he can score.

“Can he get 20-plus goals this season? If he does, Villa will come very close to winning the Premier League.”

Q. David de Gea is still a free agent, is there any chance of United re-signing him and delivering a ‘look who’s back’ announcement while Onana is away at Afcon?

Dwight Yorke - “I think re-signing David de Gea would be a really smart move. I don’t think it will happen though as it would rub salt in the wounds of the manager who let him go.

My question is what is the point of having a number two at the club? They’ve done it with Dean Henderson and there’s a reason why there’s a number two at the club.

“You’ve got to give these guys an opportunity to trust them. They’re training every day and trying to be elite, first-team goalkeepers so I’m not sure why they allowed Dean Henderson to go away.

“You’ve got to give these kids chances in life and it’s for me to say on the outside, but you don’t know until you put them in.

“If you have an injury during the game, what are you going to do, not put the number two in? They have their current keeper Altay Bayindir on the bench and he never gets a chance. This is what I don’t understand and he may as well not be there!

“It just doesn’t make any sense and it’s beyond me how the manager can think that way.”

Q. Birmingham have changed their manager, do you feel for Wayne Rooney or was he never the right choice there?

Dwight Yorke - “Was Wayne Rooney the wrong choice for Birmingham? I go back to what I said before, when you have chances in life, you have to take them.

“There’s few people who have had as many chances as Rooney, but when you look at Wazza’s managerial career it’s been OK - not amazing.

“They said he did remarkable at Derby but it was average, he went to DC United and had a 27% win rate and then he walked into a job at Birmingham.

“I’m all for giving people a chance but then you have to grab it. You can’t be taking a team from sixth to 20th and then claim you didn’t take your chance.

“They were in sixth and they’re now 20th and he had the cheek to complain! You’ve got to stabilise whatever you’re doing and find a way, but I’m happy he was given a chance, he just didn’t take it.”

Wayne Rooney

Q. Tom Brady is now on board at Birmingham – are celebrity investors good for the club or do they become an unwelcome distraction?

Dwight Yorke - “It’s great that football is a big industry, a billion-dollar industry and everyone wants a piece of the piece.

“Everywhere around the world football is on people’s doorsteps and it’s a huge business if you’re successful.

“If you get promoted to the Premier League it’s a massive financial gain and I can understand why people want to be part of it.

“Celebrity is just another addition to improve your profile at the club and that’s all good. It’s up to the players and the managers to then deliver for them as they’ve given the club a lift.

“Birmingham needs it. They brought in Wazza to give them a lift but he didn't get results or find a way.”

Q. There are a couple more at Wrexham – you have admitted that you would throw your hat into the ring there if a managerial post opened up, would you enjoy working with documentary cameras around?

Dwight Yorke - “I’d love to work with cameras. I’m a football person and the rest is an additional bonus.

“If I don’t do my job professionally, then I haven’t done my job as I’m there for football reasons and football reasons only.

“Part of the whole concept of being a manager is having a fly on the wall and so on, but my main job is football and to get results, the rest is not in my sights but it comes with the job.

“Ultimately, getting results is the most important thing as you won’t have cameras around you if you don’t, trust me!”

Q. Wrexham have been well managed so far, but do you expect their owners to look for a bigger name than Phil Parkinson at some stage? Will they have to as they move through divisions – need experience of the higher levels?

Dwight Yorke - “There’s only one way to prove yourself and that is winning. If you keep getting promoted, keep winning then the directors can’t do anything.

“The one thing you can control is the team playing good football and winning football matches. If you do that, your owners and directors will not come on your back.

“I make it sound simple, but if I was Phil Parkinson - and he has done a fabulous job at the moment - then all I’d do is focus on winning and promotion and he’d be exactly where he wants to be.”

Q. In terms of your future, would a job in America appeal – join David Beckham in MLS?

Dwight Yorke - “Me to Inter Miami? I think that’s a little bit far-fetched but I’m very attracted to the MLS.

“Becks has turned the club around since Messi has arrived and he will always look for a bigger manager.

“In my situation, I need a bit more managerial exposure and I need to win a few more trophies along the way and then those are the kind of clubs I’d love to get involved with.

“For me to get those opportunities, I need more chances to build my profile - although I got off to a decent start in Australia.

“MLS, England, the Far East, all of these options are open and I just want to get on the football pitch to show what I’m capable of. I’ve already shown what I can do in a short space of time.”

Q. He appears to be loving life in Miami, is Lionel Messi the perfect fit for him and Inter Miami?

Dwight Yorke - “We’ve seen the Messi effect since he’s been there and it’s been quite incredible. Sadly, since Phil Neville was there for two years and it went a bit stale and nothing really moved the needle.

“But since the influx of Messi it’s just been quite incredible and the turnaround is quite significant and we know that in Miami, with the Latin American contingent, they know football is their first love, so to see all the celebrities in the stadium there must be great.

“It’s been great for America and it shows that if you get it right, which it looks like he has with Messi signing, then it can be a success and it’s fabulous to see.”

Messi Beckham

Q. There seemed to be a lot of backlash given his record at Rangers, but what did you make of the appointment of Michael Beale at Sunderland?

Dwight Yorke - “Was I surprised at Michael Beale’s appointment? Well, people are given chances from failed opportunities and it baffles me.

“He was an assistant at Villa, did OK. Did OK at QPR then went to Rangers and got sacked and now he’s at Sunderland.

“Here we are in a space of a year and there’s someone like him in three or four jobs! You are just trying to scratch your head at how that works and based on what results.

“He seems like a decent bloke, I don’t know him but I’ve listened to him on TV, but ultimately you need to be judged on results, right?

“And if I were to judge on his results, it’s not really overly impressive but he’s got another high-profile job at Sunderland.

“It’s unfair when someone like me is looking to seek an opportunity into football and you’re not getting the rub of the green in that sense.

“He’s been given another opportunity to prove himself so we will just have to wait and see.

“I just find it crazy that he’s got into the situation of going to QPR, Rangers and then Sunderland and a bit like Wayne Rooney, these people seem to be getting all of these chances and I don’t get how it works.”

Q. Can you see Jobe Bellingham replicating his brother and joining a huge club?

Dwight Yorke - “I think Jobe Bellingham has got a lot of aspirations that he’s taken from his brother. An England international and a superstar in our game.

“When you have an older brother who you can look up to you take a lot of confidence, but he has his own path and he will continue to grow and it will give him the hunger to try and emulate his brother and it’s refreshing to see.

“That’s the player you want in your side as you know he will try and get closer to his brother in ability and I like the look of how it looks at the moment.”

Q. Did you love your time at Sunderland?

Dwight Yorke - “I was lucky that I spent 95% of my career in the Premier League and I didn’t really know what the Championship was like when I joined Sunderland.

“They were 23rd in the league when I joined and I was 34-35 and very much in the twilight of my career.

“I was brought in to nurture the young players and bring in a winning mentality at the football club and I think I did that.

“We went on to win the Championship and get back into the Premier League. I stayed at the club for an extra year and a half and it was fantastic as I had to play a father figure role with the youngsters, where I showed them a thing or two.

“I really enjoyed being up at Sunderland and I hope they enjoyed having me around with my experience and getting promoted was probably a highlight for them and I was part of that history of them returning. I’d love to see them back there one day.”

Q. Should Aston Villa try to sign Crysencio Summerville?

Dwight Yorke - “Summerville is the kind of player Villa needs to poach as he’s high in confidence, playing good football and looks like he’s ready to make that step up.

“If Villa want to prove they’re ready to compete, then this is the kind of player they need to add to the team. It’d be a good move from Unai Emery to get him in as the little clips I’ve seen of him shows he’s a real handful on the day, but it’s a different story in the Premier League.

“He needs the opportunity and chance to test himself against the very best.”

Q. What is your top four prediction for May?

Dwight Yorke - “Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham will make the top four.”

Q. Prediction for Man United vs Tottenham?

Dwight Yorke - “I think it will be a draw. 2-2. I know Spurs are in good form but I think Man United will get a good result against them here.”