Gary Pallister has refused to rule out a Premier League title for Manchester United in Jose Mourinho’s first season, despite the club finishing fifth in 2015-16.
The former United defender hailed the appointment of Mourinho, saying his track record and ability to attract big-name signings – the first of which is expected to be free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic – means an immediate return to the top is a possibility for the Old Trafford club.
“He’s got an unbelievable track record of winning league titles so you wouldn’t put it past him,” Pallister told The Sun.
“You are looking at the way United have performed this year and he’s got some work to do to make them title challengers.
“But who thought Leicester would have challenged for a title? And they are the Premier League champions.
“Given the resources the club has got, given the good players we have got already, if Jose can give them the shot in the arm of confidence that they need and let them express themselves the way they can do then who is to say Manchester United can’t go and win another Premier League next year.
“He’s got the experience and he knows what it takes to win the Premier League. I’m sure the odds will shorten on Manchester United being able to do it next year. It wouldn’t surprise me if we challenge for the title.”
And while Pallister is an advocate of big-name signings at Old Trafford, he said he hoped any additions would not compromise the development of Marcus Rashford.
“The Rashford boy has proved to be a phenomenon. The way things have gone for him has been incredible and hopefully his talent will be allowed to express itself at Manchester United,” he said.
“If United do bring in a big signing up front then you do hope he can still progress. He looks a very special talent.
“I wouldn’t fancy a race with him. The lad has plenty of speed. But it’s the maturity he has got at 18 and the awareness of the game which makes him standout.
“He’s such a confident and grounded kid. There’s nothing you don’t really like about the lad coming through. He’s riding the crest of a wave at the moment and ticking all the boxes to be a really top player.”