The days of teams winning titles built on a defensive approach are long gone. Scrapping for narrow 1-0 victories week after week is generally no longer enough, instead the best teams domestically and in Europe are built on attacks that can’t stop scoring goals.

Manchester City’s back-to-back titles were generally built around the front three of Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane, but it’s probably Liverpool who epitomise the importance of an attack firing on all three cylinders.

For three years the goalscoring ability and link-up play of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have been crucial to the success of Jurgen Klopp’s side, but they might well be about to be usurped as the most exciting attacking trio in the Premier League.

While Liverpool’s front three have 51 goals between them so far this season, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood are now up to 55. For a Premier League comparison, Liverpool’s trio have 40 goals and United’s are on 38. But while the United front three have started a combined 59 league games between them, Liverpool’s have started 85 Premier League fixtures.

Evidently the goalscoring prowess of United’s front three hasn’t helped them to a title challenge this season, but it shows the potential that is there to build around, especially when the age profile of United’s front three is so encouraging. While Mane, Salah and Firmino are at their peak, all aged 28, United have an 18-year-old Greenwood, Rashford, at 22, and Martial, who is 24.

Since the season restarted Greenwood has edged his way ahead of Daniel James for the right-wing spot and he's made it his own. Not only has he added better balance to the front three, with a right-footer, in Rashford, coming in from the left, and Greenwood, mainly left-footed, from the right, but he's also increased the potency of that attack.

While James has had his moments this season, he hasn't carried the same goal threat that Greenwood does. He is a natural finisher on either foot, as his stunning strikes against Bournemouth showed, and he gives defences, already with their hands full with Rashford and Martial, another problem to think about.

The combination between all three is exceptional but they've also benefited from the January signing of Bruno Fernandes, who has taken the shackles off United's midfield. The Portuguese playmaker has been involved in 13 goals in his first 14 games for the club and it's the front three who are thriving as a result.

Watching the way United have pulverised Sheffield United, Brighton and Bournemouth over the last couple of weeks, it's been hard to place this side as being the same one that looked so toothless and short of creativity earlier in the campaign. In this 16 game unbeaten run they've plundered 43 goals. Before that you have to go back 25 games to find United's previous 43 goals.

The words from the opposition are increasingly warm as well. After the 3-0 win at Brighton in midweek, Graham Potter said United were as good a side as the Seagulls had faced. Yesterday Eddie Howe described United as a "totally different team" to the one that had lost at Dean Court earlier in the season.

The creativity and the prowess of the front three are key to that transformation. There were defensive errors on show against Bournemouth and they remain a concern, but right now this combination of forwards look as potent as any in the Premier League and that is the foundation that sets up a title challenge.

It is still too soon to declare United as challengers next season, but with the way Greenwood, Martial and Rashford are playing at the moment and the rate they are scoring at, you can't rule it out either. United can still get better and they will expect to strengthen the squad this summer, but the transformation in the attacking threat in this side during the season has been very impressive.

This is still early days for United under Solskjaer, but the signs are increasingly positive. The development of a young front three who are playing with an impressive level of synchronicity is certainly something to build on. As Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool have shown, you can reinforce a defence once you have an attack that is firing on all cylinders, and under Solskjaer United are taking a similar approach to build a side that can challenge for major honours.