Charlie Nicholas and Dennis Wise spoke on The Debate over their thoughts regarding whether United will finish in the top four or not this season — and both agreed that the club needs January signings to stand a chance.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho had on Friday said that he was confident United would break into the top four this term. Ahead of the trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, United are eighth in the English Premier League table, five points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
“Are they better than Arsenal? Probably when they are on their game. But they have to win games to close the gap and I am still not convinced they will make the top four,” said former Gunner Nicholas. “Arsenal are catchable because their defence are trying to understand their new manager. Tottenham are going through a bit of a change and don’t seem to know their best formation.
Chelsea are probably still too reliant on Eden Hazard but are probably above the two north London sides. They are catchable, but United would need to go big in the market in January and sign readymade players.”
“I think United will be looking at the top four and thinking they can get above Arsenal and Tottenham,” he said. “They have had a poor start and the amount of goals they have conceded is not like a Jose Mourinho team. Usually they don’t give a lot away, so things have not been quite right, but I think — looking at the players they have got and the fact I think they will buy big in January — they will make the top four.”
Sky Sports News also got updates that the Red Devils’ hierarchy was in talks with Mourinho over transfer targets for both January and next summer’s transfer windows. Asked where United needed to strengthen, Wise said: “I think you are looking at the two centre-halves. I think that was his main concern in the summer. They need a full-back on the right side too, I am sure he would like an established right-back. I am sure there a few slots he wants to fill to make the team. This team, the way they are playing and the goals they are conceding, it’s not a Jose Mourinho team.”
While Manchester United certainly have the squad to challenge for the top two, let alone top four, how Mourinho and his react to the adverse situation that has faced them this season could go a long way in deciding their final league standing, irrespective of January investments.