Manchester United began to lose their way after David Moyes signed Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, believes Paul Scholes.
United have not been able to replicate the standards achieved under Sir Alex Ferguson since the legendary manager retired in 2013 alongside former chief executive David Gill.
Current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the fourth permanent incumbent of the Old Trafford hotseat since Ferguson, leads his side into a crunch match against Liverpool this weekend following the club’s worst start to a league season in 30 years.
Scholes also waved goodbye to United six years ago and believes the slip in standards the club has suffered was reflected in the first two major signings made by Ferguson’s replacement, David Moyes.
“I think there were alarm bells straight away really when David [Moyes] took over and he signed Juan Mata and Fellaini for something like £70million (the transfers actually totalled to £64.6m),” Scholes told BBC Radio 5 live.
“[They] are good players in their own right but I don’t think they were Man United players. I don’t think Alex Ferguson or [chief executive] David Gill would have signed those type of players.
“I think from then on alarm bells have rang and we’re in the position we are now because of buying players who we don’t really think were Man United players. Ole’s there now and he’s got the opportunity to put that right.”
Executive vice-chairman Woodward has received a lot of criticism for United’s poor recruitment, which has triggered an overhaul in how the front office now operate in the transfer market.
Summer signings Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James have been impressive so far but the side seem to be suffering from the losses of Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera.
With a refreshed policy on purchasing improving talent as opposed to superstar names, Scholes believes United may be able to start tilting for titles again in the not too distant future.
“I think [it will be] four or five transfer windows [before Man Utd can challenge for the title again],” Scholes added. “And they’ve got to be four or five good transfer windows!
“I think Ole’s first few signings have been very good, very promising, and as long as he’s the man in charge of the players that are coming in then I don’t see a problem.”