“It was very obvious that he never wanted him but the club forced him to, now he has become a very big flop. Erik ten Hag was right afterall”- Gary Neville singles out the Man Utd player Erik ten Hag was forced into signing

Manchester United were forced into signing Sofyan Amrabat in the summer according to Gary Neville.

The midfielder arrived at Old Trafford on transfer deadline day in September as they looked to strengthen Erik ten Hag’s hand. The Morocco international joined on an £8.5million loan, with the Red Devils holding an option to make the deal permanent for £21.4m.

The 27-year-old has made 17 United appearances this term and returned to Ten Hag’s squad for the clash with Manchester United after a stint at the Africa Cup of Nations. His time away has seen young midfielder Kobbie Mainoo continue his rise to prominence however.

The 18-year-old scored his first goal for the club against Newport in the FA Cup, quickly followed by an impressive Premier League winner against Wolves to earn United three points. Mainoo’s reputation is quickly growing and he has established himself as a regular in Ten Hag’s midfield while Amrabat has been absent.

Former Man United defender Neville revealed that Mainoo’s talent was appreciated much earlier at the club however. The pundit suggested that an injury to the teenager was the only reason United decided to make the move to land Ambrabat from Fiorentina.

He said: “To be fair to Ten Hag, I made the inquiry in the transfer window over the summer about whether they needed another central midfielder. Amrabat was linked with them at the time but they’ve said that if Mainoo hadn’t been injured, they’d have not brought anyone in.

“Because he did go down, Amrabat came in but the faith was there in him from the start. He’s proven already that he’s got the quality as well as the temperament to play in these big matches, he’s a real star.”

Mainoo has wasted little time in convincing those less familiar of him with his talent too. Rasmus Hojlund arrived in the summer in a £72m deal and was quickly told about the midfielder that was leaving tongues wagging.

Following Mainoo’s match-winning goal in midweek, Hojlund said: “I didn’t get to see him in pre-season because I wasn’t there. But all of the lads were talking about him and saying he is a generational talent. He has a nice body type, he is very mature and has a good personality as well.”He’s very calm, and outside the pitch he’s a nice, relaxed guy. You can see he’s composed and shows his quality, and he showed it again tonight – he’s an incredible talent. He’s only 18-years-old, and I thought I was young.”

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