Manchester United will only finish the Premier League season inside the top four if they make significant additions in the January transfer window, according to Old Trafford legend Peter Schmeichel.
The former Red Devils goalkeeper praised the club for the raft of attacking signings brought into the club this summer, but admitted he was worried about the lack of defensive stability in Louis van Gaal’s side and believes it will undermine any hopes for Champions League football next season.
Manchester United’s new manager saw the club splash out in excess of £150million in the summer transfer window to bring in the likes of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Daley blind, but Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo were the only defenders purchased.
This failure to recruit more cover at the back has seen Van Gaal come in for some criticism, especially when they have been conceding some very soft goals in the opening ten fixture of this Premier League season.
Schmeichel believes there will only be bad news again for Manchester United fans come the end of the season if Van Gaal cannot sort out the leaky defence. The ‘Great Dane’ also believes that the club does not currently have enough talent to turn things round and the winter window will be key.
"The January transfer window is coming up and traditionally United do not buy but I think they have to do that
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“The signings in the summer were good and very exciting and that gives hope and enthusiasm, but they need to tighten up in defence because conceding so many goals is not going to win you anything," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
"The January transfer window is coming up and traditionally United do not buy but I think they have to do that. If they can tighten up at the back then yes, they can make the top four."
Situation has worsened
Defensive options became an even greater problem for Van Gaal after the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in their local derby on Sunday afternoon. Chris Smalling received one of the stupidest red cards you are veer likely to see, while Rojo appeared to dislocate his shoulder in a slide challenge and had to be substituted.
This is added to the fact that Rafael da Silva was injured in training in the lead up to the match. Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are both still sidelined and Michael Carrick was deployed as an emergency centre-back in the defeat to City.