Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag had Kobbie Mainoo to thank for sparing his blushes as Manchester United won 4-3 against Wolves in a Premier League thriller on Thursday.
The 18-year-old’s midfield partner Casemiro showed flashes but looked slow and conceded a penalty with the manager admitting that the Brazilian needs more time to re-find his form.
The club have suffered a spate of injuries in midfield and until the emergence of Mainoo, the manager was struggling to pick a coherent midfield pairing.
Mount’s debut season
He was anonymous initially, not helped by the manager’s high transition poker system, but has failed to overcome a niggling injury he picked up in the game against Tottenham Hotspur earlier on in the season.
He was pictured on the grass but there have been no updates since and Ten Hag asked about the former Chelsea man in the build-up to the game against West Ham United.
“I think he is still struggling [from the injury] he got in the second game of the season. He returned for a period and then he picked up another injury.
“That is not great and it is frustrating for him and I feel for him. He had such high expectations and I had such high expectations for him, he could be a good player for us.
“What is the most important thing for him now is to get him fit and go and be secure in the process, step by step, don’t force it and then hopefully by the end of the season he can stay fit and fight to be in the team. Or at least play a role in this team.”
Finding the right system will also be key for his form as Bruno Fernandes tends to take up the same areas on the pitch.
This was not the kind of season the player and the club, who spent £55 million on him, thought would happen.
Hopefully, he can return soon and prove why he was given the coveted No 7 shirt in the first place.