Wayne Rooney says it is starting to feel “more like the old Manchester United” with a number of key signings bringing the feelgood factor back to Old Trafford.
The appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager to replace Louis van Gaal and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has invigorated a club who finished fifth in the Premier League last season.
Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have also arrived for large fees this summer, as United look to compete against their rivals for a first title since 2013.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Rooney says that the players are in higher spirits than they were last season.
“I think the players feel this is more like the old Manchester United,” he said. “It’s not just the new signings, we’ve got Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford from last season who made such an impact.
“We’re in a very good spot now, we think we can challenge for the Premier League, and we want to put a marker down, in the Community Shield with Leicester.
“I know it’s a one-off game, but we want to show we can win a trophy early on — we feel that’s an important event for us.”
On Ibrahimovic, the captain added: “He’s one of the best strikers, and a big personality. You can see he wants to be a really important player for us. After training he is already talking about how we can get the best out of each other, you can see he’s got this great work ethic.”