Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is forming a team capable of winning the Premier League, according to Dwight Yorke, who says Manchester United's "transformation" back into an elite force is almost complete.
United have gradually built up momentum after an inconsistent start to the 2019-20 campaign, with the January arrival of Portuguese playmaker Bruno Fernandes sparking an impressive 18-match unbeaten run across all competitions.
Solskjaer's men are through to the knockout phases of the Europa League and the FA Cup semi-finals, and are now three wins away from securing a return to the Champions League.
The Red Devils are fifth in the Premier League behind Leicester on goal difference at the moment, with Chelsea now only a point further ahead in third.
Wins against Crystal Palace and West Ham could put United in a great position before they come up against the Foxes on the final day of the campaign, and optimism is rising at Old Trafford in the wake of the team's free-flowing displays since last month's restart.
Yorke believes his old club will be able to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City next term if they continue progressing at their current rate, with an all-star front three leading their charge in the final third.
The ex-United striker told Talksport: “They’re fantastic, exciting, they have power, pace, they score goals, they can dribble, and I think we are forming a team now that can finally compete again in terms of winning the Premier League,” he added.
“Still there are one or two players missing; I think Ole and everyone who watches United know that they’re a little bit short in certain areas, but certainly from what we are seeing from last season to now, the transformation is wonderful.
“To see where we are with the front three, Mason Greenwood bringing another young starlet through the academy with is fantastic, and [Marcus] Rashford and [Anthony] Martial, they’re such talented players and it’s very exciting times ahead for United.”
A chance to move into third was squandered on Monday as United were held to a 2-2 by Southampton at Old Trafford, but Yorke doesn't think the result has done anything to damage the jigsaw that Solskjaer is piecing together.
“United were tremendous,” said the 1998-99 treble winner. “There was an immediate response from the lads after going 1-0 down, and that’s something you maybe wouldn’t have seen in previous years.
“I’ve actually started to watch United again. For years I just watched the highlights, rather than the whole game, but I’m seeing the players expressing themselves, which is something Sir Alex always kept acknowledging with the players.
“It was a little set-back against Southampton, because they could have been third today, but they’re going in the right direction and fair play to Ole for what he has done.
“I don’t think the result should take the shine off what Ole has done in terms of transforming Man United at the moment and the way they are playing football.”
Yorke went on to single out Greenwood for praise, while warning United to be wary of how they manage his development amid the lofty weight of expectation that comes with playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
“He’s got all the attributes you want. A very cool demeanour, can play left foot and right foot, his work ethic is fantastic," the Red Devils legend added. "He’s also a very humble guy and he doesn’t seem to seek the limelight, he’s still a young boy learning his trade.
“It’s fantastic what he’s done, but we’ve got to remember he’s 18 and we have a tendency to build these young English players up very, very quickly, so we have to be careful with Mason Greenwood.
“But right now he deserves all the credit because he’s playing fantastically well and taking his opportunity.
“He’s just going to have to take it in his stride, but he’s being managed by a guy who doesn’t really hog the limelight either, they have very similar characteristics in some ways, and I think he’s under a good umbrella there.”