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9th Dec, 2016 | 12:17pm

Tottenham are better than Manchester United: Why Mourinho must take Europa League seriously

COMMENT By Emma Sanders

Manchester United must take the Europa League seriously because it is the only realistic way they will qualify for Europe next year.

Jose Mourinho’s side have struggled to hit the heights this season but it is crucial that they achieve something and the Europa League is the best chance they have.

The Portuguese spent £145 million in the summer on news signings, including a whopping £89 million fee on Paul Pogba, so the club will be expecting results.

Manchester United are already out of the EFL Cup which would have been a good chance of picking up silverware and they look to be out of the title chase.

A top four finish will be a huge ask too. Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have all looked better than United so far this season.

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Sunday’s clash between Spurs and United will be a good indication of whether Mourinho’s side are capable of competing among the top five but securing a Champions League spot will still be extremely difficult.

Tottenham are perhaps United’s biggest threat in the Europa League but if the Red Devils can win the competition it will ensure them a place in Europe next season as well as a healthy financial bonus.

Mourinho has a habit of picking up silverware in his first season so it would be a worrying sign if United failed to compete for at least one.

In other Manchester United news, the club are preparing a shocking swoop for this West Ham star.