Erik ten Hag says he needs “better players” if Manchester United are to compete for the Premier League title.
United secured their return to the Champions League next season after a year-long absence with a 4-1 win over Chelsea at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Ten Hag won the Carabao Cup in February and faced Manchester City in the FA Cup Final on June 3, looking to undercut their rivals’ bid with a hat-trick.
But inconsistent results have hampered any Premier League title challenge, and the Dutch coach says more reinforcements are needed if he is to compete for major honors again.
Ten Hag wants a striker as a priority, but midfielder Mason Mount could be a potential summer arrival, with the Chelsea player tipped towards Old Trafford amid interest elsewhere.
Signing Mason Mount only makes sense for Manchester United if it’s a big enough improvement
Asked if United could challenge for the title next season, Ten Hag said: “It’s hard to say at the moment. You have to see how you come out of the transfer window but I think we need more.
“I don’t have much patience. This is one of my mistakes. We want to win every game.
“It’s a good base to build on but the standards have to go up, the demands have to go up. We have to work in the summer with this team, but also the window to see if you can strengthen the squad.
“In this league it’s good to be in the top four. We want to fight for the title but you have to be realistic and you can say first when you have your squad at the end of the transfer window and the winter transfer window what you can do.
“The team is there and you can make a statement about whether it’s realistic or not. We’re far away now, so we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re making progress with this squad in this squad, but we need better players if we want to compete for the best.”
Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and a Bruno Fernandes penalty ensured United, who needed just one point from their last two league matches to end Liverpool’s fading hopes of a fourth-place finish, secured victory.
“We are happy,” said Ten Hag. “I think we had a good season in the Premier League. I think it’s a very good season. I think the main goal of the season is to reach the Champions League.
“I always have high expectations of myself. This club belongs to the Champions League, but this league is very strong and there are many teams, many clubs that can compete for the position and can do that; they have high budgets, good teams – see Chelsea, good team, huge with notable players.
“I think there are many positives in the season, we’re making good progress in a lot of facts; before you got a defensive organization, you didn’t have it overnight, as we’ve seen. We’ve invested that in the squad and the lineup, you see the progression, you see it in a lot of The clean sheets we have in. Consistently, we’re doing well.
“At the moment this is the limit, but we want more.”
United ended the Premier League season at home to Fulham on Sunday.
They face an anxious wait to find out the extent of Anthony’s injury after the attacker is taken off on a stretcher.
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