Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been warned that he could really do with a good run in the Europa League this season.
Former Red Devils midfielder Luke Chadwick has made it clear he thinks his old club need to get past Granada and probably at least make it to the final of the competition to show they’ve made progress since last season.
Man Utd impressed with a 1-0 win away to AC Milan last week to set up a tie with Granada, and they’d potentially face either Roma or Ajax in the semi-finals.
Chadwick thinks these are winnable games for United and wants to see the club get over their recent semi-final hoodoo and show they can make progress on the European stage.
Still, United followed up their win at the San Siro with a disappointing defeat against Leicester City in the FA Cup, so their inconsistency could cost them when it comes to facing some of the top teams in Europe in upcoming rounds.
When asked if winning the Europa League was a realistic aim for Solskjaer, Chadwick told CaughtOffside: “I think it’s more than realistic, really. It’s a favourable draw against Granada and if you don’t win that alarm bells will be ringing and Ole will be under a huge amount of pressure.
“Everyone would expect Manchester United to get through that round, and then obviously Roma or Ajax in the semi-finals. Both tough games but again you’d probably have United as favourites against either of those teams.
“I think it’s so important for United to get to the final of the Europa League and break that semi-final hoodoo and being in a big European final. Obviously on the night it’s a 90-minute game that could go either way but I think it’s important for Ole and important for the club that they come through these next two rounds in the Europa League and show what they can do on the big stage.
“If they make the final and keep hold of second place in the Premier League then it does look like improvement from last season in terms of their performance in Europe and in the league as well.”