Erik ten Hag's summer at Manchester United has not gotten off to the most ideal of starts.
While it would have been hoped that the club would get a number of new faces in through the door as early as possible, they have yet to confirm any signings in the current transfer window. Negotiations have been slow for a number of key targets, with pre-season set to get underway in the coming weeks.
Regardless of who they are able to recruit in the coming weeks, they are sure to have quite the challenge on their hands in the season ahead. The goal will be to finish in the top four, but that will be no easy task when you look at the squads available to Chelsea, Spurs, and Arsenal. That is without even mentioning the gap they will be attempting to close on Manchester City and Liverpool.
Paul Merson warns Erik ten Hag about Manchester United task
Speaking to Sky Sports, Paul Merson warned Erik ten Hag about the task ahead.
He believes this will be the most difficult job of the Dutchman's career, saying that Arsenal's transfer business this summer will be making things even tougher for United.
If Ten Hag managed for the rest of his life, it'll never be harder than what he's taking on now.
This is a massive job. It's the biggest club in the world and he is taking over when they're in disarray.
He needs to bring in as many players as he can because this team is not going to get you in the top four. They need to bring certain players in - (Frenkie) De Jong at Barcelona, he's a good footballer - and then you move on from there. They need at least three or four players just to make a challenge for fourth place...
Gabriel Jesus is the big one (for Arsenal). I'm a big fan, I like him. Pep Guardiola played him in a lot of big matches - he trusts him. He's a centre forward who wants to score goals...
I like what Arsenal have done to get that over the line. I think they're in for a good season. There's a project going on and they'll be fighting for fourth place with Man United and Tottenham.
Arsenal were a better side than United last season, while they look to have strengthened this summer. Spurs also look intent on making some big signings, while Chelsea remain a wild card in the transfer market.
The top four race next season should certainly be an intriguing one.