Andy Cole, a former Manchester United striker, has said the club are years away from winning the Premier League again.
United have failed to win the league title since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club in 2013 as coach.
But Cole, who was part of the United side that won the Treble in 1999, urged patience for current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, saying time is required if the Norwegian is going to build a team capable of replicating their old self in England.
“I genuinely believe we’re still a few years away,’ Cole told Sky Sports.
“We’ve just got to keep improving, keep bringing in better players and just try and improve season by season, because the two teams at the top – Liverpool and Manchester City – they’re pulling away from everyone.
“I was in a team at Manchester United where we were doing exactly the same thing and in the end, everyone else closed the gap. It’s a case of just keep persevering, keep improving season by season.”
United’s dominance in English football has disappeared since Ferguson retired six years ago.
The Manchester side have changed three managers within the period, and they finished 32 points behind rival and champions, Manchester City, last season.
They are already seven points behind league leaders, Liverpool, having won one game, drew two and a defeat in their opening four games of the season.
The play Leicester City at Old Trafford this weekend, when the league resumes from international break.