"It would have been better to keep Ryan Giggs".
Jose Mourinho's United have an opportunity to close the gap at Old Trafford this Sunday but according to Kanchelskis, three points for Pep Guardiola's City will all but end the title race, even at this early stage of the season. The remaining place goes to the only locally born player to have scored a trophy-winning goal for either Manchester club in years; Jesse Lingard's certainly the man for the big occasion, and his movement could help create space for his team-mates to create big problems.
In the last three league games, City has conceded goals from corner situations against both Huddersfield (an unfortunate own goal from Nicolas Otamendi) and West Ham (Angelo Ogbonna's header following a short-corner routine).
United might not offer much going forward with the absence of Pogba, but they won't risk much in midfield defending against the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho on Sunday. It will be 11 points - it is not possible.
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It is hard to turn away from the feeling that, for both these clubs, this match represents something of a pivotal point in the season, if not in the wider scale of things, too.
Kanchelskis, who played for both United and City during a playing career that spanned 18 years, has fond memories of the derby. In saving the majority of his big-game players for the domestic spat, he may have handed qualification to the Ukrainians and ended City's record, but - if it results in a win at Old Trafford this weekend - it will no doubt be seen in the blue half of Manchester as a worthwhile sacrifice.
"I remember Ferguson would make us all stay in a hotel the night before the derby to prepare for the game - he wanted everyone concentrate on the game". If United beats City's high pressing game or steals possession to launch a counterattack, Lukaku may look to isolate and get behind Nicolas Otamendi. City had won their previous 20 games in all competitions, many of them convincingly. Now there is a big change.
The Portuguese coach has been given the green light to spend on reinforcements for his squad as they attempt to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title. "It is going to be very, very interesting".
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