Ex-Liverpool, City man: Manchester United will miss out on top four

Paul Walsh believes Manchester United will miss out on the top four.

Manchester United have not made the necessary signings to finish in the top four, argues former Liverpool and Manchester City forward Paul Walsh.

Walsh, now 51, also won the 1990/91 FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspur, and can be seen nowadays as a pundit for SkySports.

And he believes his old rivals Manchester United need to spend if they are to qualify for Champions League football next season.

He said, after tipping Chelsea to win the league: "Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal complete my top four because I don’t think Man United – who I have finishing fifth, ahead of Tottenham and Everton – have strengthened enough, at least not yet, to break back in.

"Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs alluded to the fact last season that United don’t have a risk-taking midfield passer and they still don’t have that player, someone like Steven Gerrard at Liverpool who pings the ball forward, short or long, and makes a difference

"Louis van Gaal has to decide whether Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are good enough to play at the back for his club and, if they’re not, get one or two others in. So there are question marks over United but, of course, they could splash £100million over the next few weeks and get right back in the top-four mix."

United supporters will be well aware of the deficiencies in their squad, which five pre-season wins out of five do not cover up.

They are light in central midfield, and the defence is a big issue, even if strength in numbers of three at the back may give them greater solidity than last season.

Walsh is right in that perhaps it may be too early to judge, and there could be a big twist in the tale by time deadline day approaches. Come 11pm on September 1, United's outlook may appear far more positive than it is at present and suggest a real title challenge is on the horizon?

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