Manchester United are again the place they belong, in line with supervisor Erik ten Hag, however the Dutchman believes they should strengthen this summer time to make the progress he calls for.
Ten Hag agrees with Arsene Wenger’s outdated evaluation that claiming a spot in Europe’s elite membership competitors is the equal of successful a trophy.
However, he isn’t one to relaxation on his laurels and is already trying to the switch window as he tries to shut the hole on FA Cup ultimate opponents and Premier League champions Manchester City.
“This club belongs in the Champions League,” Ten Hag stated.
“Finishing in the top four was the main objective. The competition is tough, there are many teams with really good squads, good managers and high budgets.
“For this second it’s the most however we would like extra and I haven’t got a variety of persistence. Standards must go up. Manchester City are taking part in excellent soccer however we’ve a technique to go.”
Former United defender Gary Neville says “funding is required” for the club to progress any higher and Ten Hag has a similar opinion, adding: “In the summer time we will work with the squad we’ve however we have to strengthen.”
‘You do not get greater with this group’
United have been heavily linked with a move for Chelsea’s England midfielder Mason Mount in recent days, while Tottenham’s Harry Kane would be an obvious choice to fill the number nine role the club have earmarked as a priority if Spurs chairman Daniel Levy indicated a willingness to sell.
United are known to be looking for an experienced central midfielder in what could be a summer of change at Old Trafford if the club can prove themselves better at selling players than they have been in previous summers.
Against all this is the backdrop of ownership uncertainty.
The Raine Group, who are handling the potential sale of the club, are continuing to work towards a resolution after the Glazer family in November announced they were considering selling.
There has been suggestions of some kind of clarity around the end of the season, although representatives of Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani and Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group, the two main bidders, have privately said they remain unaware of when the process will reach its conclusion.
Former United captain Neville, a long standing critic of the club’s current ownership, believes change has to come for his old club to challenge City.
“Erik ten Hag has achieved the utmost with this squad,” Neville advised Sky Sports.
“He will want an funding as a result of I do not suppose you get greater with this group. This is their restrict. They are definitely not difficult for the title.
“The manager has proved he can handle the magnitude of the club. Now it is about getting new owners and progressing on and off the pitch. Because they have been way off for 10 years now, nowhere near.”
While former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp believes Kane is an apparent goal for the Old Trafford membership.
“If Man Utd want to kick on next season they need to go and get a top striker, Martial is not the answer,” he stated. “They need to get Victor Osimhen from Napoli or Harry Kane, if they want to seriously challenge.
“Tottenham is a shambles, it feels for those who have been Harry Kane, with a 12 months left in your contract, now could be the time to depart. He missed the possibility with Man City [last summer] and that is the time he must push. Tottenham is sort of a social experiment about how far you may push your followers. He deserves higher.”
Lampard’s reward for Ten Hag
As he picked through the wreckage of an eighth defeat from his 10 games in charge, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard identified the work Ten Hag did immediately after taking over at United as key, with the manager stamping his authority on a club.
That included dealing with the issues around Cristiano Ronaldo and his refusal to stay and watch his team-mates after he was substituted at half-time in his first pre-season appearance – then the refusal to come on as a substitute in a Premier League game against Tottenham in October
“There needs to be fundamentals,” Lampard said. “There needs to be fundamentals.
“I remember when Ten Hag first came people were talking about discipline and fines, the Ronaldo situation and setting the standard. Those things are where this club has had a positive upturn.”