Gary Pallister believes a top four finish is ‘open’ for Manchester United next season but says it will once again be down to Manchester City and Liverpool to fight it out for the Premier League title.
United finished in sixth place in a dismal 2021-22 season, missing out on Champions League qualification after finishing 13 points behind fourth place Tottenham.
The gap between them and champions City was an enormous 35 points – with Pep Guardiola’s side since adding Erling Haaland to their ranks. Liverpool meanwhile has recruited Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
While Tottenham and Arsenal have already made additions to their respective squads with Chelsea and United also expected to do strengthen, Pallister believes the gap between them and the top two will remain next season.
‘You would be a fool to not back them [City and Liverpool] to be challenging for the title next season,’ Pallister told Metro.co.uk on behalf of Bookies Bonuses.
‘You look at Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, can they really mount a challenge against them two? No. Can United? I think it would be a huge effort for them to do that, I don’t think that is going be possible next year, Ten Hag has to go in there first and hopefully sort out the problems that were manifesting themselves last season.
‘He has got to get everybody onside and find a new philosophy and take it from there. The dressing room is the first place that needs to be sorted if you listen to the rumours about it being disjoined and fractured.
‘That needs to be sorted. Hopefully then you can bring in players with character and personality than can then help in that respect.’
After a disastrous season that saw United also fail to win a trophy for the fifth year running, ten Hag is hoping to lead the club out of their current malaise.
And Pallister believes the players are there to ensure United are back in the top four next season if the new manager can unite the dressing room once again.
‘It is going to be an intriguing watch rebuilding Man Utd. That first team he puts out on the opening day of the season is going to be really telling,’ Pallister said.
‘There has got to be an improvement. I can’t say for sure they are going to be in the top four, I think the top four is open for Man Utd if they can get it right because they have good players.
‘But we have to see that side all wanting to be successful together because without that unity, it’s probably not going to happen.’
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