Ex-Manchester United midfield maestro Lou Macari has insisted that Louis van Gaal's skewed transfer priorities will cost the Red Devils dear this season, unless they ask swiftly when the January transfer window opens.
United lost experienced central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand when last season's disasters were finally over and done with, two leaders with a combined 755 appearances for the club between them.
Despite that pair moving on along with Patrice Evra new manager Van Gaal only decided to sign defenders that are best at left-back in Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo, with the rest of a club-record £150m transfer spend blown on an exciting mix of attacking talent.
Macari believes that was a terrible choice that left United ill-equipped to mount a genuine challenge for the Premier League title, telling talkSPORT that Van Gaal has to buy one top defender at an absolute minimum in January.
Man United legend is far from happy
He said: “I was concerned in the summer, when we lost Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra.
“I couldn’t see Man United going out to replace them with three identical players. We didn’t buy any defenders, until recently.
“They bought forwards but I always thought the priority should have been defensively. The Leicester game has only reinforced my opinion.
“You’re not going to be in contention to win the Premier League title unless you get your defence sorted out.
“I’m hoping in the January transfer window they go and buy one, if not two, new defenders.”
Macari is most likely still seething from United's second-half shambles at the King Power Stadium last weekend, losing 5-3 to Leicester City after conceding four goals in just 21 minutes.
Short-term fix needed until
In fairness to Van Gaal he's not been helped by an injury crisis which shows no sign of slowing down, with Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling among 10 potential first-team starters currently sidelined.
United are also without a youngster in Tyler Blackett through suspension for this Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham United.
Red Devils fans will be desperate for a new defensive linchpin like Mats Hummels to be brought to Old Trafford as a matter of urgency, but for the next three months at least United can only concentrate on the options currently at their disposal.
Much of the spotlight may now fall on £16m summer acquisition Marcos Rojo, who will surely be moved to centre-back this weekend and needs to perform under pressure almost instantly in a troublesome position.