Whilst the Glazers haven't been known to splash the cash, with our net spend per season comparable with Stoke City's and Aston Villa's over the past five years, it was assumed that Manchester United would make some considerable investment last summer.
Sir Alex Ferguson enabled United to cruise to the title in 2012-2013, despite the failings of the squad, because he was the best in the job. He was also blessed to have a fully-fit Robin van Persie for the entire season.
Still, even as champions, our flaws were there for all to see and Ferguson himself would have struggled to compete this season in light of the improvements our rivals made with their new signings.
Somehow, Ed Woodward managed to make a mess of every possibility in the summer, though, offering little more for the world-class Cesc Fabregas than what we paid for Marouane Fellaini and missing the deadline for Daniele De Rossi before we even get into the farce that was the Ander Herrera saga.
The transfer window slammed shut and all we had to show for it was Fellaini, a player we could have signed for less if we had acted sooner, and he was a far cry from the world-class players Woodward led us to believe we'd be signing.
On the day the January transfer window opened, United lost 2-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur, which would become the first of three consecutive defeats. If it was obvious that we needed new players in the summer, there is certainly no questioning the fact United are desperate for new talent to be brought in now.
Just like in the summer, we're being linked with top-class players, with Juan Mata and Dante the ones supposedly closest to moving to Manchester according to yesterday's reports, but no United fan will be holding their breath.
But let's imagine the unthinkable happens again and United don't sign any players—can they do anything to salvage this season?