Leon Osman believes former club Everton will finish ahead of Manchester United in the league this season.
The club stalwart is predicting the Toffees to end the sesason in sixth place, ahead of the Reds who he expects to have a difficult campaign.
“United are in a huge transition period,” Osman told BBC Sport.
“I am expecting them to have a really tough season and I think Everton will pip them to sixth. The Toffees finished last season strongly, and will have to hit those heights quickly, but they have made some decent additions and have improved their squad depth.”
Despite having a productive transfer window with the arrivals of Moise Kean and Alex Iwobi in a deadline day move, it will be a monumental failure for United if the Merseyside club finish ahead of them this season.
However, the frustrating summer window has left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with an uphill struggle to reach the Champions League positions this season.
It’s hard to believe a key area of weakness, central midfield, has still not been addressed even after the departure of Ander Herrera to PSG.
Despite Solskjaer stating replacements would be bought for outgoing players, the Reds have also failed to secure an attacking addition in place of Romelu Lukaku which means they are also now a goalscorer short.
There’s some reason to be optimistic for the United fans though as the defence has been drastically improved with the signings of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire.
Promising youngster Mason Greenwood is also looking ready to step up to the first-team and could act as Solskjaer’s Lukaku replacement.
Time will tell how United get on this season but a fast start is imperative to stop pressure building on the manager early on.
The Reds kick off their season on Sunday afternoon against Frank Lampard’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.