Paul Merson has provided his assessment of the depleted Manchester United squad.
The Sky Sports pundit has named eight players in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side that aren’t currently good enough.
“So many players are not good enough. Fred has got better but let’s face it, he couldn’t get any worse,” Merson told the Daily Star.
“Anthony Martial doesn’t seem to realise who he’s playing for.
“I’m not sure Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are good enough to play in a back four.
“They suit a three better. And Aaron Wan-Bissaka has hit a massive brick wall. Burnley were targeting him.
“Daniel James needs to come out of the team for a breather because his confidence looks shot, and as for Jesse Lingard – where have the goals gone?
“People say United miss Scott McTominay when he doesn’t play. But how many top clubs are lining up to try and sign him? It’s sad how far United have dropped.
“Never mind the top two. Look how far behind Leicester they are! This is Manchester United. They shouldn’t be playing for fourth place.”
We agree that United’s squad is starved of quality, but the names picked out from Merson here are hardly the problem areas within the squad.
Fred has improved and has been one of the better players in recent weeks, and McTominay’s absence has been a huge blow to Solskjaer’s midfield plans.
However, there are doubts over whether Victor Lindelof can become the long-term partner for Harry Maguire at centre-back and Jesse Lingard is certainly not good enough to be playing in attacking midfield.
Meanwhile, it’s too early to give a verdict on Dan James who has been forced to play too many games this season since his big step up from the Championship.
The Welsh winger showed promising signs at the start of the season, but has had to be overused by Solskjaer because of the nature of the stretched squad.
Solskjaer needs signings but we remain doubtful over any new arrivals with just a week of the transfer window remaining.