Dimitar Berbatov shares the widely-accepted view that Manchester United should have signed a central defender in the summer transfer window.
United announced four arrivals on a hectic deadline day, but failed to address a key problem that has been devastatingly exposed in the opening three Premier League games of the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have conceded 11 goals in their first three fixtures, and were fortunate to record their only three points of the season away to Brighton with the home side hitting the woodwork on five occasions.
Victor Lindelof has been maligned for his performance levels at centre-half but his absence against Tottenham highlighted captain Harry Maguire’s dismal form alongside Eric Bailly.
Solskjaer cannot account for inexcusable individual errors and each central defensive combination has been tried with little success.
Ex-United striker Berbatov believes Chris Smalling, who was sold on deadline day to AS Roma, could have provided a temporary solution.
“The disappointment amongst United fans will be deeper now than it was in recent weeks even,” Berbatov told Betfair, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I see they picked up [Edinson] Cavani and [Alex] Telles, and now the window is closed without signing a centre-back.
“I have said for weeks that I think they need a centre-back, and this is a show from Ole that he trusts the guys he has there already, but I feel like they should have signed someone.
“I wonder if they really should have kept even Chris Smalling, who has had a fabulous time at Roma, but often when you loan a player, it is a sign that they are done anyway.”
United will struggle to progress without the signing of at least one proficient central defender and must wait until January at the earliest to act.
Berbatov notes that the lack of a centre-back transfer proved Solskjaer trusts his current crop but surely the Norwegian knows that a new addition is needed in the position.