The general consensus was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer exceeded expectations with Manchester United in the Premier League last season given Liverpool’s and Manchester City’s dominance in recent years.
The Old Trafford side were able to split the two heavyweights with a runner-up finish in the league as Pep Guardiola’s side comfortably finished top.
The Anfield side’s title defence was disappointing, to say the least, but they did well to salvage a top-four finish given their injury problems.
United finished ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s men and eventual Champions League winners Chelsea, but were unable to catch their city rivals who finished top of the tree.
However, realistically, they were never expected to and finishing the best of the rest has to be seen as a positive step for the club moving forward.
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But Solskjear had a different viewpoint about their accomplishments last season and insists that only first place should be classed as an achievement at Man Utd.
When asked about the merits of finishing second, he said: “You can’t say that is an achievement.
“Our ambition is a lot more than second place. I said that when I wasn’t at the club – you can never be happy with that and we’re not.
“Don’t get me wrong, our ambition is to catch the team in front of us.”
The Norwegian’s comments show that United are not willing to rest on their laurels and gives an indication of what their expectations are heading into the new season.
And their movement in the transfer marker mirrors those lofty goals.
United are finally set to conclude the signing saga of Jadon Sancho who they have been linked with since last summer.
It’s claimed both clubs are close to agreeing a fee for the England winger with his arrival in Manchester imminent.
Sancho’s star talent will add more firepower to what is already a dangerous attacking line-up with Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Antony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes.
His addition will move them a step closer to competing with City’s unbelievable depth at the top end of the pitch.
But United are still at least one move away from matching City’s quality from back to front. Harry Maguire has been a standout performer in defence since arriving from Leicester City, but Solskjear has never been able to find him a playing partner of similar quality.
Getting Sancho in the door early on in the window means they can put all their attention to addressing that area as they hope to land a player who can have the same impact as Ruben Dias or Virgil van Dijk to make United genuine title contenders.
United will be looking to strengthen in midfield and at full-back if the right opportunity presents itself, but centre-back is their main priority for the remainder of the window.
In the other direction, fringe players will be available at the right price too but the club are not in a position where they are forced to sell.
It’s going to be a big summer for Man Utd and if they make the right moves, Solskjaer and his team can go one better than last season.