Manchester United haven’t gone into a season with this much excitement since Robin Van Persie joined them from perennial rivals Arsenal.
Now with new arrivals in Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, and of course manager Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils have very clear reasons to be optimistic that a United captain can hold the English Premier League trophy aloft for the first since 2012-2013.
We take a look at some of the very prominent reasons.
A New Manager
Ever since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, stability has been hard to come by at Old Trafford, and Mourinho is now the third boss in four years. However, unlike his predecessors David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, Mourinho already boasts a successful resume managing in England.
With a trophy haul including 3 Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and 3 League Cups, the Portuguese tactician knows how to win in England.
Continued Emergence of Young Players
Although Louis Van Gaal was vilified for numerous things in his short tenure as United boss, the Dutchman does deserve credit for developing many youngsters from the academy.
Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Marcus Rashford, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are just a few names that Van Gaal threw onto the field, whether by want or necessity.
The continued emergence of these players, especially Rashford, will prove vital for squad depth over an extended campaign.
The New Signings
United now boast a transfer window haul that eclipses most of Europe.
The world-record transfer of Paul Pogba not only provided them with a fantastic player but was also a huge statement to the world that Manchester United mean business, and are still up there with the very biggest clubs around.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also a star name, and the Swede is finally plying his trade in England. Despite being a 34-year-old, he proved last year that he is still one of the world’s most dangerous strikers, bagging 38 goals in France’s Ligue 1.
Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan is arguably the most astute signing, coming off a superlative season in which he scored 11 and assisted 15 in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund.
The Captain’s Return To Form
Wayne Rooney hasn’t been near his best for a couple of seasons now, and this may have coincided with a move back towards midfield, where players usually take the time to adapt.
Although he has had successful games spraying passes to the corners of the field, his lack of attacking intent stunted United and ultimately made them weaker.
A move back to the top supplemented by the appearance of a deadly striker and two up-and-coming youngsters should help Rooney re-discover his form which made him one of the best players in the world.
Manchester United finally have the chance to reclaim their spot at the pinnacle of the English top flight. Only time will tell if that opportunity will come to fruition.