United had a busy transfer deadline day, bringing in Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, Facundo Pellistri and agreeing a deal for Atalanta teenager Amad Traore.
However, they did not manage to sign a centre-back, which many believe is the position they most need to strengthen after a very dodgy defensive start to the season.
After the 6-1 mauling at the hands of Tottenham on Sunday, the need for a new central defender seems as dire as ever and both Cole and Yorke agree that Liverpool’s Dutch centre-back would be the best option around.
Asked who would be their ideal signing for the Red Devils given unlimited funds, the two former strikers picked the same name.
‘I would sign Van Dijk or bring back Jaap Stam out of retirement!’ Cole told Sky Sports.
‘Dwight Yorke added: ‘I would sign Van Dijk or a Van Dijk quality defender.’
Manchester United have conceded 11 goals in their opening three Premier League games of the season, also losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace and narrowly beating Brighton 3-2.
Asked whether the old United strike force would have enjoyed playing against this defence, Yorke gave an honest assessment.
‘We never really feared about playing against any defenders, we would have had fun, me and Coley,’ said the Trinidad and Tobago legend.
‘We’re obviously laughing about it but it’s a serious matter where United are concerned.
‘Where we are at the moment, it’s been crying out for quite some time now, as much as the defenders have done well, looking from the outside, we would be chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to play against these guys.
‘I think everyone has realised we need more defensive qualities or another defender in there. Certainly from a defensive point we do need to improve.’
The Red Devils are not in action again until 17 October when they travel to Newcastle in the Premier League after the international break.