Quinton Fortune believes Manchester United are back on an upward trajectory under Jose Mourinho.
United became a byword for success under Sir Alex Ferguson, but things went awry after the Scot retired as a Premier League champion in 2013.
Mourinho was brought in three years later after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal struggled, going on to lift the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in his first season.
Former United midfielder Fortune has been impressed as anyone by the “noisy neighbours” this season, but believes the Red Devils are on track to kick on again in the next campaign.
“It’s a little bit frustrating to see us in second position, but City has been outstanding this season and it will be a miracle to catch them,” Fortune told Press Association Sport ahead of Monday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
“The way we’re playing looks very difficult to beat in any competition, so I hope next season we’ll go that extra step further and win the league.
“I am sure there will be changes in the summer. The manager will want to strengthen the team and that’s part of being a Manchester United player.
One area that United will struggle to improve is between the sticks.
David De Gea has been in outstanding form once again this season, including a standout display that ensured the recent Champions League last 16 first leg at Sevilla would end 0-0.
Fortune is another to have swapped Atletico Madrid for United and the South African continues to be taken aback by the Spain goalkeeper.
“When you look at the last couple of seasons, he has been player of the year – which is a little bit weird for a Manchester United goalkeeper.
“I think the position we are in the league and all the competition, I think David’s played a big role in that. Look at some of the games this season – he has kept us in games. The Seville game, especially, he was outstanding.
“In my opinion, he’s probably the best goalkeeper in the world at this moment in time and we hope that continues. He’s been absolutely brilliant, and we hope we can keep him here for many years to come.”
Quinton Fortune was speaking at the re-opening of the Red Cafe at Old Trafford, supported by United’s official club coffee partner Melitta.