Pogba staying & emergence of Greenwood give Man Utd cause for optimism – Neville

Paul Pogba Mason Greenwood Manchester United 2019-20
Getty Images
The former Red Devils full-back sees a resurgent side heading in the right direction as they seek to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City

Manchester United have “cause for optimism” again, says Gary Neville, with the transfer talk that has raged around Paul Pogba starting to quieten while the emergence of Mason Greenwood has offered a welcome shot in the arm.

The Red Devils have found themselves stuck in reverse for long periods since Sir Alex Ferguson headed into retirement back in 2013.

Forward momentum has been established at times, with the odd trophy triumph taken in, but progress has often stalled and led to regular changes in the dugout.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now calling the shots and, after facing some uncomfortable questions of his own , appears to have United heading in the right direction once more.

A resurgent Red Devils outfit have gone unbeaten through their last 17 games in all competitions, keeping themselves in the hunt for a top-four finish and major silverware.

Shrewd business in the transfer market is being richly rewarded, while ongoing faith in youth and home-grown stars is also helping to rekindle a spark that was in danger of fizzling out.

Neville is among those excited by the future, with the former United defender telling Sky Sports : "Manchester United are playing with confidence, arrogance, particularly against teams that are in the lower end of the table, teams they have struggled to break down in the past.

"They look authoritative, they have possession, control and patience. They are so sure now that they can go from walking to injecting quality through Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Greenwood, Martial, Rashford. They have so many options and United are looking formidable.

"They are still not there in terms of Manchester City and Liverpool, that is where they need to get to, but they are on an upward trajectory and are certainly looking a lot better than they were.

"There is cause for optimism. You were thinking there wasn't a midfield, that Pogba was going to leave, they didn't have a right winger and all of a sudden Greenwood appears, the back four and goalkeeper have looked shaky at times, but they are getting themselves together.

"It's looking a lot more positive. It's not a time to get carried away, it's still a time to invest and improve the squad but it is a lot better for Solskjaer."

United have closed to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester in the Premier League table, with four games left to take in, and Neville expects them to surge towards the finishing post.

He added: "Leicester have had a great season, for them to be in front of United at this stage is a great achievement. But you would be surprised if United didn't go and follow this through. They've got a good run of fixtures and have got Leicester to play as well.

Article continues below

"United look so dominant at this moment in time. You'd almost like to see them playing the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City to see where they are, although that could come in the FA Cup and Europa League games.

"It's been comfortable for United in recent weeks and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want those big tests because they look ready for them. They have looked so comfortable in games and they will go on to have a really good season.

"At times this season I wondered what was going to happen, but I think they will overtake Leicester and get into the Champions League, and they could even win a trophy with it all to play for in the two cup competitions they are still in."

Close