Ex-Liverpool great: "Moyes needs to replace his ENTIRE defence"

Match of the Day pundit Mark Lawrenson believes that Manchester United boss David Moyes will need to replace his ENTIRE defence in the summer.

Lawrenson was speaking even after watching the Red Devils produce a stern defensive display against Arsenal on Wednesday night, but the impending departures of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra will almost certainly leave gaping holes that Moyes will have to fill in the summer.

But Lawrenson even has question marks over the depth at the club, suggesting the backup players at Old Trafford simply aren't good enough.

"You’re talking about replacing the whole of the back four, at least," said the former Liverpool defender. "They need a right-back because Rafael’s not good enough defensively, absolutely no way. (Alex) Buttner would come in for Evra (at left-back) because he’ll go, but he (Buttner) isn’t good enough.

"(Chris) Smalling has not played enough games and can be quite naive at times. He’s a great athlete but I think his positional play isn’t brilliant. (Phil) Jones is just a stop-gap in midfield because his feet aren’t good enough at all. He is someone who has to play at the back and attack the ball – but he needs help.”

"Jonny Evans has played lots of games but I think he plays for himself, and some players are like that. There’s nothing wrong with that – he has to play 100 per cent for himself just to get through the game. So that’s another problem – organisation. When the ball comes into their last third they don’t look as if they’ve got great confidence.

"It’s a problem – they play like they could concede a goal at any moment,” added Lawrenson as he savagely dismantled the United defence, but his points do stand to reason – Moyes will have a lot of work to do in the transfer window this summer, and reconstructing his defence has to be high on his list of priorities.

Moyes has been linked with swoops for Everton right back Seamus Coleman, Porto and Bayern Munich centre backs Eliaquim Mangala and Dante, whilst Real Madrid's left back Fabio Coentrao continues to be a strong suggestion for the club.

The combined fee for these four players would be somewhere in the region of £75m, and with a reported £200m transfer kitty available to Moyes, would he be prepared to spend so much on four defenders when other areas of the team also need work too?

image: © nasmac

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch