Erik ten Hag has made a guarantee to Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo following his return from an ankle injury.
It was expected that he would play a part at the start of the season but instead, he has been focused on recovery and is now finally back in contention.
The midfielder played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against League One side Barnsley and was said to be ‘sharp’ during that encounter.
When speaking about Mainoo in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s game against Sheffield United on Saturday, Ten Hag assured that Mainoo will be given opportunities in the team next week.
“He is close,” the manager said of the teenager ahead of the Premier League encounter.
“He is already training with us. Not today but I think, next week, he will have some minutes in the team. So then he can catch up on his game minutes. So he is really improving and ready to get back in the squad for games.”
Whilst it appears that the game against The Blades might come too soon for Mainoo, the Champions League encounter against Copenhagen, which is considered a must-win for United, appears to be the game earmarked for a return to the side.
Many fans wondered how long it would take for Mainoo to enter the side after his injury setback. However, Ten Hag has guaranteed him minutes already and that will excite those who watched Mainoo during pre-season.
When the talented academy player got injured against Real Madrid, Ten Hag assured that ‘chances will come’ for him when he returned and also praised his performances before that clash against the Spanish giants.
“Hopefully it’s not too bad and then chances will come,” Ten Hag said at the time. “I wanted to see what levels he could play. Against Arsenal, we were pleased with his performance.
“I wanted to see if he could repeat that, some days after, from then, we would have conclusions. First, we have to wait for the diagnosis and, from there on, we will set conclusions.”
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