Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has said he was not surprised by Manchester United’s decision to sack Jose Mourinho earlier this season.

Mourinho was dismissed in December with United closer in terms of points to the Premier League relegation zone than leaders Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revived the club’s fortunes since taking over as caretaker boss, winning all seven of his games in charge and catapulting United back into the race for a Champions League qualification spot.

“I was not surprised because this team has big players and can think about winning the Premier League,” Emery said ahead of his side’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with United on Friday evening.

“They can be in the position to win the league, but the reality is they have lost a lot of points this season.

“Now, they are very dangerous and in a good moment. I don’t know why but this team is different and they are playing with more confidence.”

United’s six successive league victories under Solskjaer have moved them level on points with Arsenal in fifth and within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

The performances have made Solskjaer a contender for the permanent position at Old Trafford, which United are set to make a decision on come the end of the season.

Mourinho, meanwhile, has been reportedly linked with a return to Real Madrid, who are struggling in La Liga.

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