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It’s been a turbulent campaign for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his first full season as permanent manager, and Manchester United currently find themselves in eighth position in the Premier League.

United’s position in the league table is unfamiliar territory for a club steeped in rich history, synonymous with clinching silverware, including collecting Europe’s most sought after prize, the Champions League.

From the miraculous turn around in Barcelona in 1999, to the iconic penalty shoot out in Moscow in 2008, United have took centre stage in creating magical Champions League theatre throughout the last few decades.

However, United have been starved of Champions League football this season and the club can’t afford to go another season without it, for more reasons than one.

Firstly, the cost of missing out on Champions League football is significant. United announced revenue could fall as low as £560million this season - a drop of more than £65million.

While that loss could be enough for a new, much needed, transfer addition it’s important to remember world class players often demand to play in the competition, only moving to clubs that can facilitate their needs.

The opportunity to play Champions League football is an incredibly attractive proposition for potential new signings and not being qualified can hinder transfer activity, for example Joleon Lescott recently warned United target Jack Grealish to snub the Red Devils, claiming that they aren’t among the ‘very best’ anymore.

While United have struggled for consistency this season, they are still are just six points adrift from the last Champions League qualifying spot but how realistic are aspirations to finish fourth?

Below is each club, from the last five years of the Premier League, that finished fourth, including what points total they finished on:

From the last five years of Premier League football, the average of 71 points was enough to qualify for Champions League. United currently have 35 points and have 13 games left to play, meaning that if they win all the remainder of their fixtures, they will end on 74 points.

That would be an almost impossible feat to achieve, without mentioning United still have to play Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, Sheffield United and Leicester.

However, it’s important to remember United are still in the Europa League, a competition they won under former manager Jose Mourinho. Winning the Europa League ensures qualification for the Champions League, for the following season, and this may be United’s best chance of qualifying, making it an attractive loophole for Solskjaer to exploit in the coming months.