Paul Merson believes Daniel James has looked jaded in recent weeks and that the Wales forward needs taking out the firing line for his own good.
James joined United in a £15million deal from Swansea last summer and made an instant impact by scoring three times in his first four outings.
However, James is now without a goal for the Red Devils since the end of August and last delivered an assist in the win at Burnley back in December.
The forward again struggled to hit the heights during Monday’s 2-0 win at Chelsea and Merson believes the player look “lost” and is something of a one-trick pony who only relies on his pace to beat a man.
Merson told Sky Sports: “With Manchester United, you’re talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world not having a centre forward.
“They’re playing with Daniel James up front, who sooner or later has to be taken out of the team. You feel sorry for the lad, now. He looks a bit lost if I’m honest – he needs a break.
“He’s playing all the time but his game is based on sheer pace. It won’t bring you much alone in the Premier League, and I feel for him.
“He needs to be brought out of the team but they’ve haven’t got anyone to bring in for him.”
United secured a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge courtesy of goals from Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire, but Merson felt the victory “papered over the cracks” for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, who showed their frailties in the game.
He added: “It was a big win for Manchester United at Chelsea, but they weren’t good.
“They’re two just-above average teams, if I’m being honest. United winning just covers over the cracks, while Chelsea losing means you start seeing the cracks.
“If Chelsea put their chances away in the first half, the game’s over, but they didn’t. Harry Maguire should’ve been sent off and he then scores, so there were a lot of things where you could say with Chelsea they could’ve won the game.”