Nemanja Matic believes Manchester United must target experience in the transfer market this summer to give themselves the best possible chance of avoiding another season without a trophy.
The Red Devils lost Saturday’s FA Cup final 1-0 to Matic’s former club Chelsea as Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty was enough to settle the contest. Read 16 Conclusions.
Defeat means Jose Mourinho was unable to add to the EFL Cup and Europa League double from his first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.
United did finish second in the Premier League, their best placing since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, but they were a massive 19 points behind their neighbours Manchester City.
Mourinho has been backed heavily since his arrival, bringing in the likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Romelu Lukaku and Matic for big money, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez were signed on massive contracts.
He will receive around £250m to oversee a squad overhaul this summer to try and save his job.
Midfielder Matic believes more is required if United are to compete at home and abroad next season.
“I think we need some players with some experience to bring some more qualities to our team,” Matic said after the defeat to the Blues.
“After that, we can fight for the title and the Champions League also. I think that we have improved. As you know, United last year were sixth. The year before that, fifth.
“So we improve, we are second. The only team who is better than us this year is Man City. Obviously, they play amazing football. But we are second and we are in the Champions League next year which is the most important thing.
“As you saw in the game, we tried to play – we played good football – but Chelsea have some players that can punish every mistake like Hazard did so we have to accept to see where we can improve and next year to try and win some trophies.”
While Matic wants to see new recruits come in ahead of next season, the Serbia international admits the pressure will also be on the whole squad to deliver success.
“Of course, this is football,” he said, when asked if there was more pressure because of the lack of silverware.
“When you don’t win one year the next year (there) is always more pressure. When you play for the club, Manchester United, it is a normal thing and we have to accept that and deal with that.
“When you win the trophy it’s different and you feel better but the most important thing is that we can look in the mirror and know we gave our best (in the cup final).
“I feel the team was sad after the game – we know we deserved more – but this is football. This is a final – everything can happen – so we have to be focused on the next challenge.”