Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has insisted that the Red Devils are paying the price for a negligent transfer policy in recent seasons, telling ITV.com that David Moyes needs to sign at least five or six players to turn his under-performing squad into title contenders once again.
United are currently languishing in seventh place after a disappointing start to life under Moyes, a whopping 15 points behind Premier League table toppers Chelsea and worryingly nine off Liverpool in the fourth and final Champions League spot.
The Red Devils broke their club record to land Juan Mata in a £37.1m deal last month, but that move is very much the exception rather than the rule in terms of spending from Manchester United's current owners the Glazer family.
Keane believes that United have consistently failed to sign quality players over the past few years and are now paying a heavy price, but should not make Moyes the scapegoat for previous flaws in recruitment, declaring that the under-fire manager needs more time and a string of new players.
The ex-United skipper told ITV.com: "I think Man United need five or six players. If it happens in the summer then instead of being fearful of it, embrace it - it’s exciting.
"These can be exciting times for Man United. Get them back to the very top where they belong. They’ve kind of cut corners in terms of transfers in the last few years, they’ve not gone out and got the big players, and it’s just caught up with them this year.
"There’s always something to play for. You’ve always got to win your next football match so if you’re telling me in January that your season is over, or when the Champions League starts, that’s nonsense. You’re playing for pride, you’re playing for points, and United if they do go out of the Champions League still want to get in it next year.”
Plans for a major squad overhaul at Old Trafford will have to wait for now though, with Moyes firmly focused on tomorrow night's crunch Premier League clash with title contenders Arsenal at Old Trafford.