Heading into the final matches of the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were unbeaten in 17 matches and breaking records.
They became the first Premier League team to win four consecutive matches by three or more goals after brushing aside Aston Villa 3-0, sparking hopes of an unlikely Champions League spot. At the beginning of the season, with just two wins in 12, success of any sort looked highly unlikely.
Fans are now looking ahead to the coming season with a mix of excitement and expectancy and the club are being backed heavily in betting shops across the UK. Their once-dour attack has been livened up by the arrival of Portuguese master Bruno Fernandes. He has surely already paid back a huge chunk of the £67m Talk Sport report he cost them in January and if his assists and goals help secure a Champions League spot, it could be argued he will be in credit after less than six months.
It is not just the arrival of Fernandes that has got pulses racing at Old Trafford. Whilst Marcus Rashford is still an exciting young player with the world at his feet, he is in danger of being usurped by another academy sensation, Mason Greenwood. Fans have been raving about Greenwood for some time now, but he has recently become a key part of the resurgence. Solskjaer has said he could not leave out the two-footed youngster and on his current form, the same might soon be said of Gareth Southgate and the England squad.
Even the much-maligned Paul Pogba has begun to impress since the restart. He was widely tipped to leave in the summer, but the powerful French midfielder could be set to stay at the club. That will be a further boost for Solskjaer, who appears to have stumbled upon a winning formula across his attack. Only the disappointing form of Daniel James, a youngster pitched into the first team too early, is likely to cause concern, but a summer move for Jadon Sancho could add the final balance to an exciting arsenal of attacking talent.
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At the back, there are still question marks over the centre of defence, where the aerially dominant Harry Maguire perhaps needs a new partner, but as other teams enter transitional periods too, bookmakers are beginning to latch on to United as a possible challenger to Liverpool’s dominance. United are being heavily backed in some areas to lift the title next season and some firms are taking precautionary measures, with Ladbrokes and Coral going as short as 12/1 that United add another Premier League trophy to their mantelpiece. Ladbrokes are one of the UK’s most trusted betting providers both in a physical sense as well as online, and tends to be a benchmark for punters in the United Kingdom, in addition to being a good indicator of the real prospects a team might have. Liverpool and Manchester City are sure to be first and second in many markets, but the fact United are being backed well, and are progressing on the field, makes them a real prospect for betting fans.
That 12/1 might even be worthy of a punt right now, because if United do sign Sancho, or perhaps Kai Havertz, then they will only become more serious challengers in the eyes of those setting the odds. If they were to add a central defender too, someone like Romeo Lavia whom they have already been linked with, then perhaps Solskjaer could become the first man to lift England’s top prize as both a player and a manager with the Red Devils.