Mikael Silvestre says Manchester United should be thinking about winning the Premier League title but admits this is an ‘unrealistic’ target for Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge.
The Red Devils are entering a new era under Erik ten Hag following a disastrous campaign last term which saw them finish sixth place and go a fifth successive year without a trophy.
United have not won the league title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and have watched on as rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have dominated the top spots during the past four years.
However, Silvestre – who played at Old Trafford for nine years – thinks his former side must discover a winning mindset to be successful after nearly a decade of disappointment.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: ‘It’s got to be to finish on top. You need to aim for the top spot. I know it’s not realistic but you’ve got to aim as high as possible.
‘You need to put in your head to challenge City and Liverpool. It might be difficult but that’s the only way to go about it and change the mentality.’
Following the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, United were billed as potential title challengers heading into last season.
But a fragmented campaign saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked in November before interim manager Ralf Rangnick failed to turn the club’s fortunes around.
Ten Hag is set to enter the market to improve his squad ahead of next term and has been linked with moves for the likes of Christian Eriksen and Frenkie de Jong.
However, with no Champions League football to offer, the Dutchman could find luring such stars a difficult quest.
Speaking last month, Ten Hag suggested United’s primary goal next season must be to get back into Europe’s top competition.
He said: ‘That’s a must. The goal is to make Manchester United Europe-proof again, like we did with Ajax, reaching the Champions League with Manchester United is a prerequisite.’
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