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Van der Sar: Strong characters have all disappeared from Man Utd

  /  autty

The Red Devils great believes the club has fallen considerably since his departure and are missing figures who can stand up in the dressing room

Edwin van der Sar has suggested strong characters have all disappeared from Manchester United as the club fails to reach its former heights.

"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 FC .

"So I think there's always been strong characters. And I think for the last couple of years the strong characters have disappeared and not making a difference anymore.

"I left there eight years ago and it was a tremendous last six years of my career, winning four Premier League titles and playing in three Champions League finals.

"So it's a long way from the position where they are in now. And of course they have changed managers a couple times now and the real progress is not seen yet, only the thing that they bought in the summer. 

"They bought younger, inexperienced players with a certain desire and hunger, and not like the big names they bought the last six, seven years."

While still capable of attracting talented players, Van der Sar admits the club's lack of recent success may make signings in the future increasingly difficult.

"Of course, the name is there. And of course the following they have all over the world," he said.

"But for a player ... you want to play at a certain level, you also want to have an idea that you can win trophies.

"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", he added.