Dimitar Berbatov believes Man Utd can challenge for the Premier League title next season – providing they maintain their consistent form.
United finished 33 points behind champion rivals Liverpool in the table, but ended the campaign strongly to claim third spot.
They went 14 league games unbeaten following their last defeat to Burnley back in January, displaying some ferocious form in front of goal after the restart.
Key to their performance has been the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in the winter transfer window, who has kickstarted the cub’s revival, but Berbatov has higher expectations for his former team.
“It’s been a challenging few years, but the fact remains that United need to be challenging for the title,” Berbatov told Betfair . “They need to improve again to challenge Man City and Liverpool next season, but they can do it.
“Every season is different and has its unique ups and downs, the teams you expect don’t always end up doing well, but with United you always expect them to be title contenders, especially if they make some signings.”
Focus has indeed now shifted to adding new recruits for next season, with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish the two stars heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has invested well since his appointment in the hot seat, and will be hoping to pull off a similar coup which brought Fernandes to the club.
Discussing the Portuguese midfielder, Berbatov explained: “The team’s spirit changed when he came in, he has blended in really well, connecting the back four and the attack.
“To step up and show that responsibility is huge, he’s been an amazing signing for them.
“He’s been a very pleasant surprise, because usually one player doesn’t make such a difference.”
Following United’s final day triumph over Leicester which saw them confirm their place in the Champions League next season, it is almost easy to forget they still have a chance of silverware to come in this campaign.
United already have one foot in the Europa League quarter finals as they prepare for their second leg with LASK next week.
Success in the competition will not come easy, with potential match-ups with the likes of Inter Milan, Sevilla and Bayer Leverkusen possibly to come.
But a first trophy for Solskjaer would certainly vindicate the progress he has made with United since taking charge.
Berbatov added: “There will always be doubters, but overall people will realise managers need time to build.
“There are obstacles, of course, but in the future things can improve, and Ole has shown that.
“It will be more difficult now with the Champions League, and you will still get criticism next year when you lose, but for now we should be happy with the work he has done.
“I think the players love him, and that’s shown by how they’ve played.”
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