The Red Devils kicked off their 2022-2023 campaign with a disappointing loss to Graham Potter’s side in front of their fans, thanks to a first-half brace by Pascal Gross.
Speaking after the game, Keane was critical of the performance of Fred and McTominay, claiming the midfield duo would never be ‘good enough to get his former club ‘back competing at the top.
Speaking after the fixture, the Sky Sports pundit said:
“The [lack of] decision-making and football intelligence from midfield, particularly Fred.
“I’ve been going on about it for a long time – Fred and [Scott] McTominay are not good enough.
“They won’t get Manchester United back competing at the top. We see it week in, week out. They’re not up to it.”
Meanwhile, former United midfielder Paul Scholes was also quick to criticise the Red Devils’ midfield duo and called United’s performance against Brighton shambolic.
“It was a shocking start for Man United and the first half was shambolic really,” he told Premier League Productions.
“The signs were there right from the first few minutes that this was going to be bad.
“McTominay was always trying to run with the ball, ridiculous. The quality in the middle of the pitch was really poor.
“I was happy he didn’t get sent off [for a high challenge] but I think he was slightly lucky. Again, he’s running with the ball, absolutely ridiculous.
“It could easily have been a red card. The quality in the middle of the pitch was nowhere near good enough, but we’ve seen that for the last few years with these two players.
“With Fred and McTominay, he [Ten Hag] is going to have to go with just one of them, but even one of them is probably too many.
“Fred gives the ball away all the time and McTominay’s trying to run with the ball constantly and then gives it away. Pass it to your best players! It’s not that difficult. It’s criminal on a day like today.”
Meanwhile, NBC pundit Robbie Mustoe has also criticised Manchester United’s midfield, although he insists that the club’s transfer activity is to blame for their lack of quality.
“I’ll keep this short and simple,” Mustoe said on NBC.
“I know Ronaldo’s been getting the headlines but the bigger headline for me is the transfer window for United has been incredibly disappointing. They haven’t brought any quality in.
“When you’ve still got and I’m sorry because there’s part of Scott McTominay’s game that I like, Fred as well, but the quality required in the middle of the park for this football club is nowhere near good enough to supply the front players out there.
“Sancho and Rashford [are] having a good preseason. They haven’t seen the ball because the ball keeps getting given away by the midfield players. I can put a reel together of six and seven times.
“It looks simple stuff, but if your midfield players don’t possess a pass, positively forward, to get forwards involved, they are going to be fiddling around and giving the ball away. Brighton have been brilliant.
“Quality is lacking at this football club. Players they’ve brought on are okay, but Man United bringing in okay. It’s not good enough.”