Arsene Wenger believes Manchester United are not as far away from challenging as many fear, but new arrivals are needed for the Reds to compete.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side scraped through last night’s Carabao Cup tie against Rochdale, where they had to rely on penalties to defeat League One opposition.
The failure to put a side 17th in the third division away in 90 minutes was further exposure of the lack of quality and squad depth Solskjaer is working with.
In contrast, an understrength Chelsea put League 2 Grimsby to the sword with a 7-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Former Arsenal boss Wenger says he knows the players United have to sign in order to be back competing for major honours.
“They need, in my opinion, four first team players,” Wenger said on BeIN SPORTS, as quoted by the Express.
“But around those players, I see a squad that is capable of challenging. They aren’t as far away as people think.
“I cannot name them [the four players]. It would be headlines everywhere. I know them.
“They lack creativity, flair, players that can expose the defence consistently through dribbling ability and speed.
The lack of creativity within Solskjaer’s setup is glaringly obvious and the midfield is the obvious area that needs to address in January.
Four first team players, if not more, are certainly required but the concern is whether the Reds can attract the quality of player they need in their current situation.
Any additions would have to recognise that it is unlikely United will be playing Champions League football next season, and will have to be sold to the club’s longer term ambitions.