GARY NEVILLE has likened Manchester City’s left-back situation to when Man United legend Sir Alex Ferguson sold Jaap Stam.
The Red Devils allowed the Dutch centre-half to join Lazio in 2001, despite the fact that he had years left at the top of the game.
Neville, 48, reckons that Man City are “living in a mistake” similar to United letting Stam go – after they allowed Joao Cancelo to join Bayern Munich in January.
Having sanctioned Oleksandr Zinchenko’s Arsenal switch last summer – City have been left with just Nathan Ake and even Bernardo Silva to play at left-back.
Speaking about the City boss’ possible gaffe, Neville said on The Overlap: “We’re all worried about criticising Pep Guardiola.”
He then pointed to co-host Jamie Carragher: “You’ve just said ‘who am I to question Pep Guardiola.’
“But I look back now, you know Sir Alex Ferguson accepted quite a few quite a few of his mistakes that he made, but obviously after he retired.
“He said selling Jaap Stam was a big mistake and it cost us for two years.
“I think we’re living in a mistake here, where City haven’t got a left-back, and they’re playing Bernardo Silva there in odd games.
“(For) me, that is a mistake. That is a mistake that he has obviously contributed towards.
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“I feel a bit embarrassed criticising (Jurgen) Klopp or Guardiola but the fact of the matter is, even Sir Alex Ferguson in his 20-year career, where he won 13 titles – he got 99.9 per cent of decisions right…
“He still came out at the end of his career and talked about the Barcelona cup final, at Wembley, he talked about the Jaap Stam sale, and all the moments where he knows he got it wrong.
“I think we should be quite confident in saying what we’re watching at the moment is a team that lack a balance down that left-hand side at left-back.
“It’s just factual. And that’s why they’re not getting to their standards.
“They’re playing Ake there. He struggles on the ball a little bit, he’s a little bit awkward – he defends well.
“Bernardo Silva dips back in there but he’s a massive vulnerability.”
Despite Erling Haaland plundering 27 Prem goals to date, City trail Arsenal by five points in the title race.
They were also eliminated by Southampton in the quarter-finals of the League Cup – although Guardiola’s men are still in contention in the FA Cup and Champions League.