Rio Ferdinand thinks it has been a “big achievement” for Manchester United to be where they are this season, but admits they need two major signings to catch up with Manchester City.
United looked to be in a title challenge around the turn of the year and even topped the table in January. However, their form has dropped off since and they are now 12 points behind rivals and leaders City.
Still in second place, it seems likely that United will qualify for the Champions League by the end of the season. But a title challenge appears to be something they will only be able to think about next season.
To do so, club legend Ferdinand has urged them to strengthen in two positions – centre-back and centre-forward.
“Manchester United were playing catch up from everybody last season,” Ferdinand said on the FIVE YouTube channel. “They finished 30 points behind Liverpool last season, now they’re above them.
“That’s a big, big achievement in that sense. We were not sitting there last season thinking Manchester United would win the league this season or be up there.
“Four or five weeks ago we were saying that, so I see that as a massive step in the right direction.
“Is this team in a better position than they were last season? Yes they are. Is there still work to do? Yes there is.
“But I see progress. I still see room for improvement. We definitely need to buy a centre-back, a commanding centre-back with pace, please!”
‘Move heaven and earth’ to sign Haaland or Mbappe
“I think [Edinson] Cavani, yes, he’s a good stopgap but [we need] a centre-forward.
“If people like Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe are available, you can’t allow them to go somewhere else and you need to move heaven and earth to get them here.
“Manchester United are used to having superstars and those boys would change the narrative at this football club, that’s how good they are.
“There’s room for improvement and opportunity to improve this squad, there’s players out there available, it seems. We need to be in the mix.”