That is the verdict of former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour.
Manchester United have made just the one signing so far this summer, with winger Daniel James joining from Swansea for an initial £15million.
But the Red Devils are expected to do plenty more business after last season’s disappointing outcome.
They finished sixth in the Premier League table under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, therefore missing out on Champions League qualification.
United were a massive 31 and 32 points behind top two Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
But Parlour noted how City and, in particular, Liverpool spent big, but wisely, in recent transfer windows on the players they needed.
Liverpool signed Virgil van Dijk for £75m in January 2018, which is still a world record transfer fee for a defender.
They also brought in goalkeeper Alisson for £66m to make him the most expensive goalkeeper at the time.
Parlour knows it will take a lot of spending from United to catch up with either of their rivals.
But he says in time they will get back to where they were, challenging for major honours.
“Recruitment is so important in any club,” Parlour told talkSPORT.
“You look at what Man City did, when they needed players they went out and bought them.
“Liverpool did exactly the same, they needed a goalkeeper and got Alisson, the needed a centre-half and got [Virgil] Van Dijk – and suddenly they’re challenging and winning trophies.
“I think Manchester United will be very similar going forward.
“I think Man United are realistic, they look at Man City and Liverpool and they’re well behind them at the moment.
“But they will be back, because they’re Manchester United.
“Sometimes it works in cycles and they just need to get the right players in.”