Manchester United will dip into the transfer market and secure the services of a top-class centre-back in January - at least that's the view of former Red Devils goalkeeper Mark Bosnich.
Following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic this summer at the end of their respective Old Trafford contracts, new manager Louis van Gaal was widely expected to prioritise the addition of at least one replacement before the close of the recent transfer window.
But while the capture of versatile Argentine international Marco Rojo from Sporting Lisbon last month did help to bolster Manchester United's options in this area, the club remain chronically short of depth at the back - a fact that was brutally exposed during the shocking 5-3 defeat to newly-promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
Evans injury blow
The news that experienced campaigner Jonny Evans is likely to miss a month of first-team action with an ankle problem that forced him off the pitch after just 30 minutes of that aforementioned loss has only added to Van Gaal's defensive woes, with Phil Jones already missing with a hamstring problem picked up on England duty and Chris Smalling having only just returned to fitness.
Those injuries have left many angered Manchester United supporters bewildered at their failure to sufficiently address such a glaring issue, although Bosnich believes Van Gaal will solve the problem in the new year.
January purchase inevitable
"We’ll see a purchase of a top class central defender in January," the 42-year-old Australian - who spent a total of four years at Manchester United during two separate stints under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson - told talkSPORT on Wednesday.
Indeed, the lack of options currently available to Van Gaal has even led to speculation that Michael Carrick - the experienced midfielder who is yet to make a single appearance this season due to injury - could be used once again as a makeshift defender, although he is very unlikely to be fit enough to take the field for the upcoming Premier League tie against West Ham.
"They are talking about Michael Carrick playing in defence now because of the injuries and suspension. He’s not the long term answer though," Bosnich added.