With the 2013/14 Premier League fixtures released all eyes turn to the new campaign. But last season's performance holds clues to what must be done to succeed next time around, essential points not to be forgotten and to-do lists which must be worked through over the summer.

For Manchester United, last season brought a 20th league title and Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement after 26 years at the helm at Old Trafford, with David Moyes stepping into the hot seat. Inside Futbol takes a closer look at the Premier League champions.

Last Season in 20 Words: Steady rather than spectacular, Manchester United's consistency was unmatched. Robin van Persie was the X-factor but Ferguson's exit stole the headlines.

Grade: A: Hard to grumble after winning another title and banishing the heartbreak of losing out to Manchester City the previous year. Falling short in Europe and in the FA Cup left some scars but the 20th championship was a fitting finale for Ferguson.


Highlight of 2012/13: A string of spirited comebacks (Southampton, Aston Villa) and a disciplined display in the Bernabeu caught the eye, but the emotional farewell to Ferguson and the Scot's moving end of season speech will last longest in the memory.

Biggest Disappointment of 2012/13: The heartbreaking and controversial Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, which sent their domestic form into a tailspin, and underwhelming home defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea in the latter part of the season.

Key Man for 2013/14: After spending £24m on a 29-year-old, Manchester United could not have asked for more from Van Persie's debut season at Old Trafford (26 league goals). He will continue to carry the goalscoring burden next season, particularly given that Wayne Rooney's future remains unclear, and will hope for better service from wide positions. Manchester United fans will also be looking for Shinji Kagawa and Phil Jones to continue their development.

Needs to Bounce Back in 2013/14: Take your pick from Manchester United's trio of wingers – Nani, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young. Valencia stands out the most since he has the potential to be one of Manchester United's match winners but needs to return to his 2011/12 form. Young needs to stay fit and prove he can deliver quality displays consistently.

Emerging Talent for 2013/14: Rafael da Silva has made the right-back spot his own, silencing the critics that suggested he was still too raw. Look for him to take his game to the next level. David de Gea has also quietly kept his critics at bay and looks set to be a permanent fixture between the sticks. With two full seasons under his belt, his confidence will continue to grow.

Areas for Improvement for 2013/14: Central midfield remains a concern. Michael Carrick continues to excel as a deep-lying distributor but Manchester United need a creative spark to play alongside him. New boss David Moyes will only hope to revive both Rooney and his wide players. Depending on whether Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Rio Ferdinand can stay fit, another centre-back might be a necessity too.

Possible Summer Transfer Targets: The transfer gossip columns continue to link Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale with a move to Manchester United, with the latter seemingly a more realistic target. Both would have a huge impact in the final third. Cesc Fabregas, despite his public commitment to Barcelona, has drawn attention, while Moyes is looking to grab Leighton Baines from his former club. One intriguing deal that is appearing close to completion is Manchester United's swoop for young Spaniard Thiago Alcantara who oozes class and could walk straight into the starting line-up.

Heading for a Summer Exit: Nani and Anderson may have played their last games in a Manchester United shirt but the biggest doubt is over Rooney, who submitted a transfer request late last season and has a tricky relationship with Moyes.

Biggest Question Mark for 2013/14: Leaving aside the Rooney situation, all eyes will be on how Moyes handles the pressure at Old Trafford and whether he can get off to a strong start despite tricky early fixtures (Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City within the first five games).

Expectations for 2013/14: Sky high, as usual. Moyes will be expected to step in without missing a beat and compete for a 21st title. There will be an element of patience at Old Trafford as the former Everton boss settles in and there will be a period of transition (it is already hard to imagine seeing Manchester United in action without Ferguson on the touchline) but he is inheriting a group of proven winners. A deeper Champions League run will also be on the wish list.

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