Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has blasted his former club's lack of investment in the transfer window and has said that the team will not win the Premier League, despite Louis van Gaal's arrival at Old Trafford.
John Cross of the Mirror has reported on Scholes' thoughts on the new season as he starts a new career as a TV pundit.
Scholes was frank about the Red Devils' chances this season, speaking in his new role for BT Sport, per Cross:
I’m sure he (Van Gaal) would have liked to have signed more players. He’s not managed to do that yet. Are the players out there available? The areas they need, in midfield, is an area where I thought they might have bought a couple of players.
Kroos goes [from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid] for £20m and Fabregas to Chelsea. I thought they would have been in for those type of players, but it doesn’t look like they were.
[...] People still want to play for Manchester United. It’s huge. The chance to win the Premier League... possibly not this year if they don’t make any more signings, but they’ll definitely have a better year than last year.
However, the former midfielder was complimentary about Van Gaal's arrival at United, calling him "a mad genius":
From what I’ve seen in pre-season he looks a bit mad to me. He’s a bit like a mad genius - he looks a bit crazy.
I think he’s brought a bit of fear into the players, which is no bad thing. I played for 20 years for Sir Alex Ferguson and he could be a scary man. Sometimes fear can bring performances out from you.
Van Gaal's first days in charge of United have been a success with the team performing well above the standards set last year under David Moyes during pre-season.
But now the true test begins, as LvG's side take on Swansea in their first Premier League game of the new campaign on Saturday at Old Trafford.
United have only made two major signings during the summer with the captures of Luke Shaw from Southampton and Spaniard Ander Herrera.
The squad still looks thin in terms of the depth, and LvG will certainly need to add to his team before the transfer window slams shut.
And with Rooney highly motivated after being chosen as the new manager's captain, the Red Devils should be potent in the final third of the pitch.
Rooney commented on Twitter about his pride of being United's new skipper:
Very proud to be named captain of @ManUtd. Huge honour and I can't wait to lead the team out on Saturday for our first game of the season— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) August 13, 2014
United only managed to make one big signing last summer with the arrival of Marouane Fellaini, and it is looking like executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is once again struggling to capture the star names.
Fellaini himself was made a scapegoat for many of the problems suffered by United last year, but the player looked a different prospect in a recent friendly against Valencia, where he scored a last-minute winner.
Indeed, Ian Herbert of The Independent claims the player wishes to continue his Old Trafford career and reject the chance of a move elsewhere:
United are still in a difficult position to succeed this season, and Scholes is correct in his assessments.
LvG might well bring the fear factor back to the club in terms of forcing a performance from the squad, but it may be some time before United are genuine title challengers.
How many new signings do Manchester United need to win the Premier League?
The frustration among the faithful is palpable right now as they look for Woodward to deliver the quality he has promised to sign.
The rumours connecting the club to some of the biggest names in football do not help matters for Woodward or LvG.
The stark reality is that if United do not bring in defensive reinforcements—after the exits of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra—the new season may be a huge anti-climax for those expecting miracles from the new manager.