Kobbie Mainoo had an impressive pre-season for Manchester United before an injury against Real Madrid led to a setback for the midfielder.
The teenager was arguably the Man of the Match in victories against Lyon, Arsenal and Leeds United before Erik ten Hag trusted him to start alongside United’s first-team regulars again against Los Blancos.
His ankle injury has kept him out of the opening five games of the season but a return is now in sight after the English midfielder was pictured on the grass at Carrington on Tuesday working individually.
Since then, information from social media account ‘Insider United‘ has claimed that the teenager’s return to action is at least two weeks away. Whilst the complete accuracy of the account’s information is not completely known, they were the first to report on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s extended layout and Raphael Varane’s absence from the Bayern Munich game.
This would mean that the earliest return for the youngster could be the fixture against Brentford at Old Trafford on 7 October. However, it is likely that Ten Hag will provide Mainoo with additional time to put him back into the first-team spotlight.
Fortunately, there is yet another international break after that clash and United’s next game comes against Sheffield United two weeks later.
United are also likely to have Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount available soon which should boost the midfield in a situation where both Casemiro and Christian Eriksen are struggling for form.
Mainoo’s eventual return will be much-anticipated by supporters after his positive contributions in pre-season. His attributes are unique amongst the midfielders available to Ten Hag and could push forward into a regular first-team role this term.
“I was really impressed with him,” United legend Bryan Robson stated whilst speaking about Mainoo on MUTV’s The Debate show during pre-season. “I haven’t seen too much of him but I was really impressed with him against a team like Arsenal – he’s not a kid that comes into the team as a central midfield player and just goes chasing about, trying to impress the manager and all that.
“He’s calculated and he’s reading the game, doing things in his own time. He closes down really well, receives the ball and changes the pattern of the game, quickens it up when he wants to and he’s using his football brain and I’m quite impressed with him on first impressions.”
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