David Moyes has had a tumultuous start to his Manchester United career and a large part of the blame lies firmly with the ex-Everton chief.
But while Moyes must take responsibility, chief executive Ed Woodward and the Manchester United board failed to reinforce the squad during the summer by missing out on numerous targets that would have improved the Premier League champions.
There were obvious holes in last year's squad that were ultimately masked over by the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson. His ability to get the 'best out of a bad bunch' and the habit of grinding out tough results in league games proved decisive.
Now Moyes has been left with a squad that looks out of ideas in the midfield and with a back-line that has failed to establish fear into opponents.
Moyes and Woodward have had time to see where they went wrong and what it will take to get the players they are targeting at the next available opportunity.
Bringing in some new quality in the January transfer window would really brighten up a squad that has lacked a spark this season - here, we look at some targets worth considering ahead of the next window...
Given the ineptness of Manchester United this summer, they were unable to test Everton with a bid they deemed necessary to tempt them into selling Baines to a league rival.
Patrice Evra and Alexander Buttner have both shown their defensive frailties this season against Manchester City and West Brom, where the wingers exposed and embarrassed them.
Moyes clearly does not favour either, which is evident by his endless pursuit of Baines and his deadline day disaster with Fabio Coentrao.
With the backline under heavy pressure and a lack of creativity from the left-back position, Moyes might find it necessary to submit an appropriate bid to Everton to acquire the services of the current first-choice English left-back.
The former Arsenal and current Barcelona midfielder is what you can consider a true defensive midfielder.
Song has been unable to find his feet at Barcelona but being a midfielder and walking into that line-up is a task that even some of the world's best would find difficult.
At 26-years-old, Song's career is far from over and being a back up at FCB might not seem like an appealing prospect. Considering it is a World Cup season it might be beneficial for him to move in the next transfer window.
Like a lot of footballers these days it's doubtful Song has any true loyalty to a club and wouldn't feel like he betrayed Arsenal by moving to a Premier League rival.
There are only a few moves a player can make in their career once they've played for clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid that wouldn't be considered a step down, and Manchester United is certainly a club that ranks among the world elite.
United would certainly be able to offer the same wage package (if not more) and considering their current options in the midfield he would most likely slide into the starting XI almost immediately.
Having two ball-winners and guys who like to go forward, Song and Marouane Fellaini could form a young centre-midfield partnership that could grow immensely for the future.
There is confirmed interest from Moyes on Herrera, but are Manchester United ready to break their transfer record to buy a midfielder who's not even a regular Spain international?
Personally, I didn't watch a lot of Athletic Bilbao games last season other than when they played Barcelona or Real Madrid, and even then I wasn't impressed.
After hearing the interest from Manchester United (and their failed transfer bid) I took it upon myself to scout the player whenever I get a chance.
I've been really impressed on the influence he has on the Bilbao midfield and he would add a dimension to the Manchester United midfield that we've currently lacked for a long time.
His ability to track back, make tackles, and be aggressive in defence is very impressive but it's matched by his ability of wide range passing, the killer ball in the final third, and how fluid is movement is going forward.
The comparison is a bit of a Sergio Busquets/Cesc Fabregas hybrid but not quite at their level yet. A transfer in January might not benefit him, as it could take some time for him to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
A summer move would make more sense to give him time to adapt to playing with a new team and living in a new country.
The wildcard pick of the January transfer window - Alonso is a class act and is one of the best deep-lying midfielders in the world. He would be considered a guaranteed starter from day one if he arrived at Manchester United.
The former Liverpool midfielder could possibly be looking for a way out of Madrid since they've failed to renew his contract and have recently used Luka Modric and Sami Khedira as the preferred pairing during Alonso's injury.
With the arrivals of Asier Illarramendi and Casemiro, there is an abundance of centre-midfielders in the waiting.
Alonso knows that during this World Cup year he will have to be playing to break into Vicente Del Bosque's squad and moving to Manchester could reignite his career.
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