Stuttering recent displays against West Ham United and Rochdale have heaped more pressure on the club and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Talking to BonusCodeBets about what needs to change at Old Trafford in order to make them a force again, Pallister highlighted the widely-admired Maddison as a potential key recruit.
“There was a lot of talk about him in the press,” commented the former United centre-back.
“He stood out in the game against Tottenham, he’s got a lot of quality and energy – and he obviously scored the winner.
“He’s the type of player who can take Man Utd to the next level. However, Ole needs to try his best for now to squeeze the best out of the squad he has for the next few months.”
One definite highlight so far for Pallister has been the form of Maddison’s former Foxes team-mate Harry Maguire and his early impact at the club.
“Harry Maguire is a class act and you’re looking at a future captain of the club; a leader that the club have lacked,” he added.
“I was fortunate to play under so many leaders, we had four or five who were that figure. I had Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Paul Ince, Peter Schmeichel; there’s perhaps not the same number of a lot of them in the current dressing room. I think Harry can be that.
“You can see he’s got the leadership qualities. He’s one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League.
“The three signings have been good, [Daniel] James has scored a couple of great goals and his pace is incredible, he has space to move into – it’s been a really good start for him.
“[Aaron] Wan-Bissaka – it almost looks like he’s got spider legs that can nick the ball away from people.”
United’s lack of striking options has been criticised in some quarters but Pallister feels Solskjaer will see how youngster Mason Greenwood develops before making any moves in the transfer market.
“It all depends on how Mason Greenwood develops,” said Pallister. “I think you’d want a bit more experience in that front line. Liverpool and Man City seem to be attracting better players, and it’s becoming a tougher market for United.
“Playing Marcus [Rashford] on Thursday [in the Europa League] was a funny one with a game on Sunday, he’s played every game and it was a case of needs must.
“The injury problems have taken their toll. United looked at a couple of options in the forward line but they couldn’t happen, which puts the pressure on young forwards like Rashford who is 22 and Mason who is 17, [Anthony] Martial who is 24.
“It’s not a great deal of experience and I think that is a position in the team that Ole would’ve liked a bit more experience.
“Martial has been out a few weeks and Jesse [Lingard] has had injuries, it’s been a struggle to keep everyone fit and he will have been frustrated by that.
“You need a different mentality away from home, and Ole will be disappointed with some of the performances especially away from home.”