Eamon Dunphy believes that Manchester United have the worst squad of players since they were relegated in 1974 and that it would take £1 billion to put things right at Old Trafford.
United crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion last night after a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg saw them fail to progress from a group that many considered to be relatively weak.
Already out of the Capital One Cup and failing to impress in the Premier League, where they have often been booed by their own supporters this season, the pressure is mounting on Van Gaal and Dunphy believes it’s because he has bought so poorly.
“They spent £300 million during Louis van Gaal’s tenure as manager, they've got about £150 million back but this week he was asking for more money,” Dunphy told RTÉ Sport.
“They would need the guts of £1 billion, they have no quality at all. Martial for example cost £35 million - £50 million with add-ons - and he’s going to take time to develop into a player.
“Memphis looks a dud, they paid £24 million for him, Rojo wasn’t fit last night but he’s a dud.
“I’d say this is the worst squad of players that United have had since the bad old days, since they were relegated,” the RTÉ analyst added.
“They had a few managers after Matt Busby and that transition was botched. I think this transition after Alex Ferguson has been botched and I don’t think Manchester United are any longer, in any meaningful sense, a big club.”
Van Gaal did try to defend his players in the wake of their Champions League exit, insisting that they have improved from last season.
Dunphy dismissed this claim and insisted that they’re going backwards under the Dutchman.
“They’re much worse this season than they were last season and it’s not just the failure, it’s the manner of it,” he said.
“Last night they went out without a game plan at all. He could have decided to keep it tight and let Martial and Depay attack the two elderly Brazilian centre-backs and pinch a win but he had no game plan.
“Ashley Young was sitting on the bench and he played a 22-year-old Uruguayan who had never played at this level before.
“Only for De Gea it could have been much worse last night and that’s the story every week in the Premier League as well. They have a great goalkeeper but they don’t have any other players of real quality.
“They just look disorganised, the players look demoralised and there are solid facts coming out of the United camp about some of his methods in training.
“It isn’t just about replacing Van Gaal; they have no players. The foundation of Manchester United or any football club is players and it’s rotten - they don’t have any good players.”