Talk is that Manchester United need to throw plenty more money at their problems in the coming transfer windows, but they shouldn't have to.
Recent comments from ex-Manchester United player Phil Neville have suggested that his former club need to spend plenty more money before they can think about winning the Premier League title once more.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Neville said, “I know United have spent £150million.
“I think there’s another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed – maybe £100million – before they can even think about winning the title.”
Those comments have prompted plenty of headlines and speculation about who United could move for next, but the simple fact is the assertion that Louis van Gaal needs to throw that much more money at the problem is simply wrong.
United do not need £100million worth of players, they just need the right players.
Anyone who had seen the club under David Moyes and in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final few campaigns knew the club needed midfield steel, a replacement for the erratic Rafael and – following the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic – experience at the back.
Instead United signed Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – both world-class players but surely extras rather than necessities – while Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw are in essence two men fighting for one very expensive place.
Daley Blind and Ander Herrera add quality in central midfield but as they showed against Leicester City, they are far better when things are going their team’s way, lacking the steel to dominate and change a game from central areas.
What United really needed last summer was to keep Ferdinand and Vidic, or at the very least one of them, with the former prepared to accept a new deal had it been offered.
Instead, they waved goodbye to both without a worthy replacement, watching the likes of Ezequiel Garay, Bruno Martins Indi, Stefan de Vrij, Eric Dier and Calum Chambers all move on, but not to Old Trafford.
Similarly Moyes had earmarked William Carvalho as the player to add bite to United’s midfield, and yet despite the big bucks thrown about this summer, that area was seemingly ignored, the Portuguese international remaining at Sporting Lisbon despite being scouted by United more than 15 times last season.
No, United should not need to spend another £100million, not when they could have signed the likes of Ron Vlaar, Simon Kjaer, Enzo Perez or – if they had offered £40million to Juventus – Arturo Vidal.
Quality centre-backs are out there – and not all for ridiculous prices – as are box-to-box midfielders. But for whatever reason United opted to sign headline names over sensible solutions. And for that reason, for every outstanding goal Di Maria scores this season, there is every chance it will be forgotten after another defensive mishap.