Roy Keane won the Premier League title on seven occasions during his illustrious Manchester United career and, like many of his former teammates, strongly believes the Red Devils are currently underperforming.
However, the retired midfielder doesn’t agree with many of the club’s fans who believe the answer to all their problems is to part company with the under-fire Louis van Gaal this summer.
Keane believes it’s in United’s best interests to allow the Dutch coach to see out the final year of his three-year contract but is convinced the club don’t possess enough characters to re-emerge as title contenders next season.
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"I wouldn't say I have sympathy for Van Gaal, but then again I don't like to see managers heavily criticised because it's a difficult job," Keane told Beyond the Pitch, per the Manchester Evening News.
"It was always going to be difficult, even for David Moyes, after Alex Ferguson. There's been some good signs over the last few months with some of the younger players. With lots of changes over the last two or three years, it was always natural there was going to be a dip.
"I think if United can win the FA Cup - and they're making it difficult to finish fourth - he's got a year left and I don't see why United wouldn't let him finish out the last year of his contract.
"If they can win the FA Cup, it might give him that bit of breathing space to finish the job off next year and when we're talking about Manchester United, to me, I'm always talking about winning titles etc.
"But if they are going to recruit again then whatever about good players, what United need is two or three characters so on their bad days they're able to grind out results.
"Chelsea will be stronger next year, Arsenal, and Man City too with their new manager. It's not going to get any easier. I don't think they have enough characters in that team to get them back into winning league titles."
Keane's right: Man United lack characters
It’s difficult to disagree with Keane’s assessment: Manchester United are currently lacking players with obvious leadership qualities.
United’s current captain Wayne Rooney aside, who else in the squad is capable of inspiring the team when the chips are down?
Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams contained genuine leaders such as Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and, of course, Keane.
And the latter believes it’s imperative that Van Gaal recruits a couple of strong characters for the dressing room this summer if his final season in charge at Old Trafford - provided he keeps his job - is to end in success.
Man Utd fans: which two leaders would you bring to Old Trafford this summer? Have your say by leaving a comment below.