Man Utd still need four or five players to close gap on Man City & Liverpool - Cole

Manchester United still need four of five players to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool, according to Andy Cole.

United have fallen way down the pecking order in English football's top flight since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013.

David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho were all unable to replicate the Scot's success at Old Trafford, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has endured similar struggles since taking up the managerial mantle on a permanent basis in March 2019.

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The Red Devils have not won a major trophy in two seasons, and have had to watch City, Liverpool and Chelsea battle for supremacy at the top of the Premier League in recent years.

Solskjaer's men were plagued by inconsistency once again in the first half of the 2019-20 campaign, but signs of improvement were made after the winter break following the January arrivals of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo.

United are now only three points outside of the top four, and still have the FA Cup and Europa League to play for if football resumes over the summer after the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the fact that the Red Devils finally seem to be heading in the right direction, Cole believes a number of extra recruits will be needed before they can start challenging the elite again.

When asked what United need to re-establish themselves as title contenders, a former Old Trafford favourite told MEN: "It’s the million-dollar question, whatever we buy to try and close the gap Liverpool and Man City are trying to buy as well to open the gap even further.

"It’s like Formula 1, once one team starts to close the gap it seems another team does something to find a little bit more.

"Liverpool are going to win the league for the first time in 30 years, you turn around and think ‘how the hell has it taken this long’, it’s because the gap continues to grow and grow.

"What it will take? Four, possibly five players, then with performances the gap starts to close and the confidence grows."

Cole, who was part of United's famous 1998-99 treble-winning squad, went on to highlight the importance of a collective "winning mentality" in the dressing room as Solskjaer continues to try and bring back the glory days at the Theatre of Dreams.

He added: "I think it’s about the winning mentality, we always had that winning mentality, training was fierce but the camaraderie was fantastic, it was unbelievable.

"We all had the same goal come the end of the season and that was to win. Once you have things like that it’s half the battle."

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