Manchester United’s under-19 manager Travis Binnion has explained the ‘important’ steps Kobbie Mainoo must take in order to regain a place in the first-team squad again.
Mainoo, 18, returned to competitive football on Tuesday as he faced FC Copenhagen’s under-19s squad in the UEFA Youth League.
The United midfielder played 45 minutes before he was replaced, which was a pre-planned decision from the club as it was his first appearance since pre-season.
A clash against Real Madrid saw Mainoo pick up an ankle injury which kept him out of action for a number of months. He has since provided a positive update on his fitness following the appearance for Travis Binnion’s side.
And the youth team manager has also explained the importance of getting minutes under his belt as Mainoo targets a return to the first-team.
“It’s important that he gets those minutes and he’ll feel a lot more confident after that,” Binnion told MUTV.
“I don’t know what’s in store for him over the next few weeks, but he’s going to try to keep building up now and hopefully get in and around that first-team squad and have an impact there.”
The manager went onto praise the midfielder as well as Dan Gore and Willy Kambwala for playing the match against the Danish side without being fully fit.
“Great credit to Kobbie, Willy and Dan, as the sort of senior players today,” he added. “Dan got niggle on Friday and Willy got a sore foot, so for those lads to get through the 90 minutes after struggling with knocks and wanting to play, bodes well.”
Moving towards this weekend, first-team manager Erik ten Hag has another decision to make regarding Mainoo’s eventual return to his squad.
Of course, there is a large test against Manchester City on Sunday, and whilst Ten Hag previously suggested that this week could bring a chance for first-team minutes for Mainoo, there is also an under-21s fixture on Friday night, where United face Fulham in the PL2.
Ten Hag will need to decide if Mainoo could be useful for The Reds in their important clash against their city rivals or whether the opportunity of more minutes for the youth team could be more beneficial.
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