Ex-Manchester United striker Dion Dublin sees defensive weakness

Former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin believes the current Old Trafford squad is in need of a defensive leader.

They are whispering it quietly around the corridors of Old Trafford, but Manchester United may just be back in the Premier League title race.

The Red Devils saw results over the weekend go their way, with Chelsea, Southampton and Arsenal all dropping points.

It is now up to Louis van Gaal’s side to offer a positive response, with their next outing taking them to Southampton on Monday night.

Victory at St Mary’s would lift them back into the top four and to within eight points of table-topping Chelsea.

Success on the south coast would also see United make it five wins in a row, with belief flooding back to a squad which saw confidence badly rocked in 2013/14.

Former United striker Dion Dublin considers the feel-good factor to be back at the Theatre of Dreams, but also believes that Van Gaal should be looking to bring in a defensive leader in January to help carry the side forward in a similar manner to iconic centre-halves of the not too distant past.

He said in the Daily Express: "I look at the body language of the players. They all want the ball, their chins are up, their confidence is back. They have turned the corner and I think they will go from strength to strength.

"But they could do with a strong leader in the back four in the mould of a Gary Pallister or Jaap Stam."

United have been heavily linked with plenty of world-class defenders since the summer transfer window closed.

Van Gaal’s presence means talk of Dutch recruits is never far away, with Aston Villa skipper Ron Vlaar reported to be a top target as his contract in the Midlands runs down.

Borussia Dortmund’s World Cup winner Mats Hummels is also said to figure prominently on the Old Trafford wish list, along with Atletico Madrid’s Uruguay international Diego Godin.

Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane may be another option under consideration, but he would not come cheap and is also attracting admiring glances from the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.

Dublin is right, though, in his assessment of the current United squad and they may have to break the bank in January in order to land a player of the necessary quality.

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