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Kobbie Mainoo provides fitness update as Erik ten Hag addresses Man United midfield switch



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Credit: Man Utd

Kobbie Mainoo played 45 minutes for Manchester United’s under-19s side on Tuesday afternoon as he finally made his return from injury.

After a frustrating setback in pre-season, Mainoo returned to the pitch for the youth side in the UEFA Youth League against FC Copenhagen in their 1-0 loss.

He has been back in first-team training for a few weeks now and played in a behind-closed-doors friendly against League One side Barnsley during the international break where it was said that he was sharp.

However, the first-team game against the Danish side in the Champions League, where United won 1-0 in dramatic fashion, was not perceived as the correct option for Mainoo. Instead, getting a half of football for the under-19s was chosen.

Mainoo played an impressive game for Travis Binnion’s side and was replaced at half-time. The visitors scored a late goal in the second half to secure the win.

Following his return, Mainoo uploaded a positive message on social media, saying: “Good to get 45 minutes in the legs after a tough time out. Work starts now!”

During the first team’s win, where Andre Onana saved a last-minute penalty, Ten Hag made the decision to swap Sofyan Amrabat for Christian Eriksen at half-time.

The Danish midfielder was awarded the Champions League Man of the Match following a positive display where he assisted Harry Maguire’s winning goal with a pinpoint cross.

Ten Hag addressed the reasoning behind the change following the game, as he believed United needed better-suited personnel to break down Copenhagen’s well-organised defensive setup.

“Christian is always positive and, as you see, he brings football. We didn’t have the football in the first half – it was difficult,” the manager told TNT Sports.

“Copenhagen are well organised, so you have the break them and find the right moment to make the double six, the timings, and Christian is good at that.

“He’s composed and makes the right passes. He has intelligence and then his decision-making on the ball is often very good, not only the goal but also his passing distribution is so good.”