Despite currently residing in sixth place in the Premier League table, a mammoth 13 points adrift of leaders Chelsea, Arsenal legend Ian Wright claims Manchester United will be in the title race come the end of the season.
Having won their last five games in a row, including four top flight fixtures, United are certainly on a high with the likes of Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan beginning to click in attacking areas, and Wright believes players such as these coming into form could bring about a different United team in the new year.
“United didn’t start off brilliantly and they’ve been trying to get themselves going,” Wright told BBC Radio Five Live (via the Daily Star).
“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].”
It is understandable at the moment that Wright sees this United side making their way up the table, but to be in the title race we would need to see some sort of dramatic collapse from the likes of his former club Arsenal, Liverpool and of course Chelsea, who have just broken a club record of twelve consecutive league wins.
Thirteen points is also a massive gap to make up at this stage in the campaign. The seven points between them and their Merseyside rivals in second may even be a bridge too far between now and May.
We will just have to wait and see if United can continue their newfound consistency, but targeting third or fourth place seems a more realistic ambition at this stage, despite Wright’s positivity.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena