Mainoo injury update
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has made a promise to Kobbie Mainoo that more chances will come his way, after he was injured in the opening stages of the Houston friendly with Real Madrid.
The teenager was handed the responsibility of anchoring the midfield, alongside Casemiro, against the Spanish side's top-quality engine room, renowned as arguably the best in world football.
However, a moment to savour turned sour when a freak collision with Rodrygo, who fell into the Academy product when brought down by Casemiro as he made tracks towards Andre Onana's goal, prompted a premature end to his evening.
To rub salt in the wounds, Jude Bellingham scored before Christian Eriksen could come off the bench, and Joselu's late overhead kick sealed a 2-0 victory for the Bernabeu outfit.
Ten Hag admitted after the game at the NRG Stadium that, as is usually the case, he could not tell the severity of the problem straight after a match.
However, he was keen to add that he hopes Mainoo will be back soon as more opportunities will come his way in 2023/24.
"I understand the question," he said at his press conference, when asked what the injury was. "But you can never tell straight after a game. We have to wait for what it is.
"So, hopefully, it's not too bad and then chances will come. 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."
Treble-winner Andy Cole admitted he was upset to see the youngster have his night ruined, after such a show of faith by the boss.
"I'm devastated for him," the ex-Reds striker told MUTV. "You know why I'm devastated? It was an opportunity for a young man to show his skills against someone like Luka Modric and, when he came off, you could see how bitterly disappointed he was because how many opportunities do you get to play against someone like Modric in midfield?
"I'm devastated for the young lad but he's going to have plenty more fights to fight. Unfortunately, tonight wasn't his night."
Another former United forward, Danny Webber, felt it was too early to say how long Mainoo will be out for.
"Rodrygo has gone through quickly and he's just fallen on Kobbie," he told us. "He seems to have done his ankle, somewhere around there. There was no malice at all. He was in the right place to make the stop, if Rodrygo does get through, so it's just unfortunate. It depends on the extent [of the damage], if it's the inside or outside or the ligaments, we don't know. The physio will have a look at it and it could range from one week to eight weeks.
"I'm enthused by the fact he walked off the pitch so I'd like to think it's not as bad."