Nemanja Matic tips Man Utd for Premier League title challenge under Erik ten Hag in 2023-24
- Red Devils back on the trophy trail
- Dutch coach has made an impact
- Movement expected over the summer
WHAT HAPPENED? The Red Devils threatened to fire themselves into contention for the English top-flight crown at one stage this term, but have since been forced to settle for a top-four challenge. They have landed major silverware in the Carabao Cup, while also reaching the FA Cup final, and – with the promise of more spending to come in the summer transfer window – Matic believes United can restore domestic dominance at Old Trafford next season.
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WHAT THEY SAID: The former Red Devils midfielder, who is now working with Jose Mourinho at Roma, has told Sky Sports of the progress being made under Ten Hag in Manchester: “I like the way he wants to play, I like the way United are playing. They have had some ups and downs and that is normal with a new manager. But I'm happy with how they have progressed and I think next season they will fight for the title for sure.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: While United have the right man at the helm, questions are being asked of certain players. Harry Maguire is among those seeing an imminent move speculated on, with Matic conceding that his former team-mate is enduring a tough time. He added on the England international defender, who has been dropped at times this season despite being club captain: “I can understand why he's playing for England because he's a great player. When he signed for United, in his first season he played almost every game and he was one of the best players. The problem today is that if you play two or three games not great, with social media, everyone criticises you and maybe that affected him. But he has to think only about his job because in football everything can change in a few weeks. His situation doesn't look great at the moment but he needs to be focused. He's very professional and we'll see what the future brings for him.”
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? United have six more Premier League games to take in this season, starting with a trip to Brighton on Thursday, before then facing arch-rivals City in a historic FA Cup final derby encounter on June 3.