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Gary Neville claims Roy Keane-esque figure would ‘build’ three Man Utd stars if he were in Old Trafford dressing room

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Gary Neville has boldly claimed that one of Manchester United’s Premier League rivals have a Roy Keane-esque figure and he would love to have him at Old Trafford.

The 49-year-old former Manchester United right-back spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford and played alongside former teammate Roy Keane at the club.

Gary Neville broke into the United first team after emerging as a famed member of the ‘Class of ‘92,’ with Keane arriving at Old Trafford in 1993.

Keane, who was signed from Nottingham Forest, was widely hailed for his legendary spell at United and excelled as club captain under United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 52-year-old Irishman was promoted to the captaincy after Eric Cantona’s sudden retirement and was an influential figure both on the pitch and off it.

Keane was well known for his leadership aura and commanding presence, with the United legend performing superbly well as a box-to-box midfielder for the club.

The Irish hardman left Old Trafford in 2005 after Sir Alex Ferguson axed him from United, with Gary Neville replacing the Sky Sports pundit as captain at the club.

United have sorely missed the leadership skills of a legendary former player like Keane, who is considered one of the best captains in Premier League history.

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Man Utd legend Neville makes Keane comparison

Speaking on The Overlap, Gary Neville was asked which Liverpool player he would take from the current Reds squad and bring to Old Trafford if he had the chance.

The Sky Sports pundit revealed that he would pick Liverpool skipper Virgil van Dijk, who has had a remarkable impact at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp.

Signed for a whopping £75m fee from Southampton, Virgil van Dijk arrived at Liverpool in 2018 and had a transformative impact on the Reds squad.

The 32-year-old Dutch centre-back has been a key defensive figure for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who is set to leave Anfield at the end of the season.

Van Dijk has lifted a Premier League title, a Champions League, an FA Cup and two League Cups during his prolific spell with the Reds.

Neville said that Van Dijk might not have the “same character” as Roy Keane, but the Liverpool and Netherlands captain has had a “massive presence” at the Reds.

“I would take Van Dijk,” he said.

“I just think that 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. I always think that if you’ve got a spine of strength and presence.

“We always say, don’t we, 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.

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

Neville on Van Dijk at Man Utd

Neville insisted that Van Dijk, who was appointed Liverpool captain last summer, is the type of player that would impact the “culture” at Old Trafford.

He added that Van Dijk would have a more positive impact on players like Kobbie Mainoo, Antony and Marcus Rashford in the United dressing room.

“And I think that if you wanna change Manchester United’s complete and utter culture, they need that dominant person that holds them together,” Neville continued.

“I think Van Dijk would control Mainoo. He would control [someone like] Antony or even Rashford. He would build them, not break them.”

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