Erik ten Hag says he is confident Mason Mount will be a success at Manchester United, expressing his commitment to support the player and emphasising a careful approach to his return from injury.
Mount joined United from Chelsea in a deal worth up to £60million last summer but has so far struggled for consistency in his time at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old has been plagued with injuries throughout the campaign, which has resulted in the midfielder making just 12 appearances in all competitions. He has, however, returned to first-team training.
Ten Hag conceded that it has been a disappointing season so far for Mount, but insists he really wants “to be there for him”.
He said: “He was struggling from the second game of the season. He returned for a period and then picked up another injury, so of course that’s not great.
“That is very frustrating for him and I really feel for him. I really want to be there for him because he had such high expectations and I had high expectations.
“I am sure he is a very good player for us. But, first of all, what’s now important is we have to do it very secure to get him fit. 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 his way into the team, or at least play a role in his team.”
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Ten Hag added that he doesn’t expect Mount to feature in United’s Premier League clash against West Ham United this Sunday.
United’s manager also ruled out left-back Tyrell Malacia for the game at Old Trafford, but he confirmed that defender Victor Lindelof is closing in on a return. Lisando Martinez, meanwhile, was substituted in his side’s 4-3 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers as a “precaution”.
“Ty (Malacia) and Mason Mount I don’t expect them back, but I think Victor Lindelof is almost back,” he added.
“Yesterday he trained with the team and we have to see how far he is.
“It was a precaution (Martinez’s substitution). I took him off because actually I had to sub Rasmus Hojlund because he was dead with all his running. Then we needed an extra header.
“But also I think for Licha, he was of course a long way (time) out and we brought Harry Maguire on as an extra header and Omari (Forson) for Rasmus.”
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