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Jamie Carragher believes Manchester United are not as far away from challenging for the Premier League as some have claimed.

United look destined to finish as runners-up to local rivals Manchester City in the Premier League this season and the Red Devils remain in the hunt for a trophy in the form of the Europa League.

A second-placed finish and European silverware would likely represent a successful season in the eyes of most United supporters and Carragher admits he has been impressed with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this term.

Jamie Carragher

Pointing to United’s remarkable unbeaten streak away form home in the Premier League, Carragher insisted that the club likely receives an unfair amount of criticism.

“How much of a leap would it be for Man United to win the title next season? It would be a jump, of course it would be. But I actually think Man United get too much criticism for what they’re doing right now,” Carragher said on the Pitch to Post podcast.

“Man City are phenomenal… we’re talking about a team who were on the verge of doing the quadruple and could still do a treble. Man United are 10 points behind but when you see the distance that some teams in second and third have been behind [the champions in the past], 10 points doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Manchester United

“We’re talking about a team who haven’t lost away from home in the Premier League this season and I think they’ve only lost one game in their last 20 or so in all competitions – in the FA Cup at Leicester – they come from behind to win games, so I think there’s a lot to be excited about. They’ll need one or two players in the summer but that’ll be the same for every team.

“But I don’t think they’re as far away as people speak about, really. Some of the things they’ve done this season I don’t think some of the most famous teams in Man United’s history have achieved, in terms of going so long away from home without defeat.

“So there’s a lot to be enthusiastic about, and a lot will come down to whether they can make that last step in the transfer market in the summer.

“They’ve had a really good season, and they’ll want to cap it off with a trophy as Man United need to be winning trophies.”

Much has been made about where United need to strengthen when the transfer window reopens and the Red Devils continue to be linked with a new centre-forward, with names such as Erling Haaland and Harry Kane touted as potential options.

Solskjaer has reportedly told former teammate Gary Neville that he hopes to prioritise the signing of a more mobile central defender this summer.

And those are precisely the two areas where Carragher feels United could improve ahead of the next season.

“I think they could maybe improve at centre-back but they need a young Cavani, basically. That’s what the club needs,” Carragher explained.

Edinson Cavani

“They’ve persisted with Anthony Martial as the striker for a couple of years. He’s a good player, but I don’t think he’s a great player who’ll take them to a Premier League or Champions League title, which is what they need.

“So two players at both ends of the pitch – a centre-back and a centre forward – and then I don’t think they’re that far away.”

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