Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright believes Manchester United can still challenge for the Premier League title this season.
Jose Mourinho’s men, following a rocky start to their league campaign, find themselves in sixth spot and 13 points behind leaders Chelsea.
However, Man United have mounted something of a resurgence in recent weeks, claiming five wins on the trot.
And Wright, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, has claimed such momentum going into the new year could see Mourinho’s men compete for the title during the second half of the season.
“United didn’t start off brilliantly and they’ve been trying to get themselves going,” he said.
“Mourinho was working out his best team and who was going to play where. He’s got something with Rojo and Jones at the back. Pogba is playing brilliantly. I think Mkhitaryan is the long-term replacement for Wayne Rooney.
“You know that with the quality of players they have, now they’ve got it going, you have to say Man United will be in and around it [at the end of the season].”
United have cultivated some momentum at perhaps the best possible time, finally displaying a capacity to turn dominant performances into convincing results.
Mourinho, after months of chopping and changing, has a settled back four, a balanced midfield packed with confidence, a striker seemingly unable to stop scoring and, well, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
There is plenty to be quietly optimistic about, but chatter of claiming the title come May is perhaps a bit premature. Chelsea look practically infallible under Antonio Conte, claiming 12 wins on the trot, and catching them will not be a problem exclusive to Mourinho, but for the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool as well.