Edwin van der Sar thinks Manchester United are missing “strong characters” as they continue to struggle so far this season.
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s men lost 1-0 at Newcastle on Sunday, leaving their only victory in their last five outings a penalty shoot-out success over League One side Rochdale in the EFL Cup.
United have claimed just nine points from their opening eight games in the Premier League and are 12th in the table, 15 points behind leaders Liverpool.
“I think for ourselves, when I came in the dressing room we had Ryan Giggs, you had [Paul] Scholes, you had [Rio] Ferdinand, [Gary] Neville and even Roy Keane at that time,” Van der Sar told ESPN.
“I think there’s always been strong characters. And I think for the last couple of years the strong characters have disappeared and [are] not making a difference anymore.”
On whether big-name players would still be attracted to United, Van der Sar added: “Of course, the name [of Manchester United] is there. And of course the following they have all over the world.
“But for a player…you want to play at a certain level, you also want to have an idea that you can win trophies and they must take that opportunity also to improve the squad and make the world-class players they have, or the players that they’re going to sign, that they feel welcome and that there’s a good path to where they’re going to go to.”