(Reuters) - Manchester United’s current squad lacks the maturity required to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players have potential, former Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger said.
United have won the league 20 times but have not lifted the trophy since Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2012-13, and Wenger suggested the club have a long way to go before attempting to reach the heights they did under his great rival.
“When you see United, they are one of the examples where there’s a potential. But they have not found a collective way,” Wenger, who is reportedly set to join FIFA in a technical role, told Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports.
“Maybe these players are not mature enough to carry the team play of a team like United, altogether. That’s the question mark now. You feel there is something coming out but it’s not ready.
“When you watch them play, they are not a candidate to fight for the championship. Will they emulate what Giggs, Scholes and Beckham did over a number of years? I’m not convinced.”
Former striker Andy Cole said supporters must be patient as United, who were sixth last season, work on plugging the gap to champions Manchester City and Liverpool.
“I believe we’re still a few years away,” Cole, who won five league titles and the 1999 Champions League during six years at Old Trafford, told Sky Sports.
“We’ve got to ... keep bringing in better players and try and improve season by season, because the two teams at the top - Liverpool and City - they’re pulling away from everyone.
“I was in a team at United where we were doing exactly the same thing and in the end, everyone else closed the gap.”
United face Leicester in the league on Saturday.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue