The Red Devils were in good shape, which reduced their gap to fourth place at Chelsea by just three points before the coronavirus epidemic ended the Premier League season in March.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad looked set to make a late leap for Champions League places thanks to the signing of Portugal star Bruno Fernandes in January and the defensive performances of new club captain Harry Maguire.
And Sky Sports specialist Merson insists that United is the team he looks forward to the most when football returns and said that his “young and improving” team was something that Arsenal and City didn’t.
“When football resumes, the team I look forward to watching more than anyone is Manchester United,” Merson wrote in his StarSport column.
“Because they were absolutely flying when we locked out, winning eight of their last 11 games, scoring many goals and having been undefeated since January.
“In fact, I would say that no one played better than United before the forced break in March.
“Can they continue where they left off?” That’s the $ 64 million question, but there are definite signs that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is starting to build a great team at Old Trafford.
“And he’s a youngster who is improving, which can’t really be said about Arsenal or even Manchester City. “
The former Gunners striker also thinks United will close the gap with league leader Liverpool next season despite falling 37 points behind the Reds.
“I’m not saying United will necessarily be the title contender next season, but they are certainly going in the right direction and they will be much closer to the top of the table than they have been in recent seasons,” added Merson.
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“If there is a question mark about them under Solskjaer, it is that they have a striated side.
“Just as United have been able to accumulate a few wins under Solskjaer, there has also been a tendency to have poor runs.
“You can’t find the tastes of Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp that endure. Real top managers rarely spend more than two or three games without a win.
“So yes, the jury is still on Solskjaer but if I were a fan of United I would be more excited than most of what the future holds. “