Manchester United “allowed too many good, experienced players to leave” over the summer, says former captain Bryan Robson, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to be given time in which to get things right.
Many have suggested that time is a commodity the Red Devils boss may soon find himself short on if results do not improve markedly.
A slow start to the 2019-20 campaign has piled pressure on the man calling the shots at Old Trafford, with patience already wearing thin in what has always been billed as a long-term rebuilding project.
United have moved away from seasoned stars and started to place more trust in promising youngsters and home-grown talents.
Robson believes that philosophy will serve the club well, but has questioned why changes over the summer were quite so sweeping, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Chris Smalling moved out.
Solskjaer is considered to be paying the price for a lack of knowhow, but is still being backed to oversee a reversal in fortune.
Quizzed on whether he expects United to be patient, Robson said: “Yes, I do, because everyone went with the policy that they want to encourage the young boys coming through the ranks.
“That’s exactly what United have done.
“I think they’ve maybe allowed too many good, experienced players to leave the club without replacing them.
“That’s why it’s left them a little bit short.”
One area in which United have found themselves alarmingly short is up front. Faith has been shown in Marcus Rashford to lead the line, but he is yet to convince.
Anthony Martial, meanwhile, has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since August, while academy star Mason Greenwood is just 18 years of age.
There are clearly issues to address in the final third, with Robson looking for Rashford to take advantage of having Solskjaer as his manager and learn the ropes of being a central striker.
The ex-England international added: “I think [Rashford] has still got a little bit of knowledge to know about being a centre-forward.
“I think it’s a natural game for him coming off the left side, but the right side as well.
“But I think through the middle of the park, I think Marcus needs to know that game a little bit better, where it’s not always about running through, it’s about build-up play and bringing midfield players into the game.
“That’s where Marcus can maybe improve his game a little bit.”
Rashford has just three goals to his name this season, with two of those coming from the penalty spot, and has been warned that he needs to raise his game in order to remain a prominent part of Solskjaer and Gareth Southgate’s plans.