Paul Scholes feels Manchester United need players with the quality of Eden Hazard or Kevin De Bruyne to make them Premier League title contenders, but added that even Lionel Messi would struggle in the current side.
United made their worst start to a Premier League season, with Jose Mourinho's men taking just 10 points from their opening seven fixtures.
A remarkable comeback victory over Newcastle United prior to the international break could have kick-started United's campaign, but Scholes does not believe they have the ability to mount a title challenge.
And Scholes name-checked Manchester City duo David Silva and De Bruyne, along with Chelsea's Hazard – the league's leading scorer – as the benchmark, but acknowledged there are no guarantees.
"I look at the current squad and I don't think there's a lack of quality there," Scholes, who won 11 Premier League titles at Old Trafford, told ESPN.
"I do think they miss a couple of real class players that other top teams seem to have.
"I'm thinking of a De Bruyne, Hazard or David Silva, a link player between the midfield and the forwards.
"But it feels like every player who comes into the team struggles. I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he'd struggle in this team."
11 - Eden Hazard has had a hand in 11 goals in his last 11 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions (nine goals, two assists). Productive. pic.twitter.com/3U2wDUtKFY— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 7 October 2018
United brought in Alexis Sanchez to add a creative spark in January, but Scholes claimed he never believed the Chile forward – who scored the winner against Newcastle with his first goal of the season – was capable of filling the void.
"I know he has qualities and has been a good player, but I never saw him as a United player," added Scholes.
"I saw him as a bit selfish, someone who played for himself sometimes.
"I didn't think he was a player that we needed, especially for that type of money. How would we be able to get rid of him now when he earns those wages?
"The signing felt like it happened just to stop Man City signing him."
United head to Stamford Bridge on Saturday before hosting Juventus in the Champions League.
22 de enero 2019
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21 de enero 2019
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|Boateng completes shock Barcelona switch|
|United Arab Emirates 3 Kyrgyzstan 2 (after extra time): Khalil penalty sets up Socceroos showdown|
|West Indies add Drakes to new-look coaching team|
|Barcelona is a huge opportunity – Boateng confirms shock move is close|
|Donnarumma wishes Higuain luck ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Qatar v Iraq: Katanec anticipating ´huge challenge´ in last 16|
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|Furious Carreno Busta and Zverev bow out, Djokovic marches on|
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|Djokovic feeling the strain after late-night Medvedev battle|
|Henderson sidelined again ahead of Six Nations|
|Australia 0 Uzbekistan 0 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Ryan heroics see holders hobble onwards|
|Halep exit leaves four-way fight to be crowned number one at Australian Open|
|Super Bowl-bound Rams set for London return, Chiefs to face Chargers in Mexico|
|Huddersfield appoint Siewert as Wagner´s replacement|
|Genoa 0 AC Milan 2: Borini and Suso step up with Higuain left out|
|McTominay signs new Manchester United contract|
|Pizzi to stand down after Saudi Arabia elimination|
|Boateng closing in on shock Barcelona switch - reports|
|Catalans to defend Challenge Cup after resolving RFL dispute|
|Djokovic wears down Medvedev to reach last eight|
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|Barcelona B defender Wague accuses Ejea fans of racist abuse|
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|Arsenal confirm Mislintat departure|
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|Japan 1 Saudi Arabia 0: Four-time winners send Pizzi´s men out|
|A souvlaki maybe named after him, a growing fan base – Tsitsipas creating Melbourne buzz|
|Barca winger Dembele out for 15 days|
|Strikers blown away by Hurricanes in Adelaide|
|Ireland lose Beirne for England and Scotland clashes|
|´Innate fighter´ Serena says character key to beating Halep|
|Hudson-Odoi ´an outstanding talent´ - Bayern great Ballack hails Chelsea youngster|
|Scotland call up four as hand injury forces Watson out|
|Serena comes through major Halep battle to reach last eight|
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|England job ´a privileged position´, says Southgate|
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|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|
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|Southgate hails ´tremendous talent´ Rashford|
|Long earns maiden PGA Tour win at Desert Classic|
|Flanagan resigns as Sharks head coach|
|Rams´ Robey-Coleman admits he committed penalty on controversial no-call|
|NFL admits they blew the call – Saints coach Payton|
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
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|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
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|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|