Erik ten Hag has insisted he has not changed his opinion of summer signing Mason Mount, despite the midfielder seeing limited minutes for Manchester United in recent weeks.
United lured Mount away from Chelsea in a £60m deal during the summer and the 24-year-old started the team's first two Premier League Games before going down with an injury which kept him out of action for close to a month.
Since returning, Mount has started just one of United's last six Games across all comPetitions, while he is also still waiting for his first goal. Instead, Ten Hag has turned to the likes of Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen ahead of Mount.
Asked about Mount's place in the team, Ten Hag insisted his faith in the former Chelsea midfielder has not disappeared but challenged Mount to prove he deserves to get back into the starting lineup after his injury.
"No. Hasn't changed at all," Ten Hag said of his opinion of Mount. "He started the season, then he got injured, it's the worst moment for a new player to get injured because it stops the reintegration process and that was definitely a setback for someone like him. And now he has to find his place back.
"He had some starts, also recently, last week against Newcastle, for instance. But there are always reasons and sometimes the injury, then other players coming in doing well, you have to wait for your time to play."
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One dilemma for Mount has been just how he fits into Ten Hag's system. The 24-year-old has often played in a pivot at the base of United's midfield, where he has struggled to impact proceedings.
Both McTominay and Eriksen have seen more minutes in that deeper role recently, while Mount's substitute appearances have come further forward as he seeks to find a way back into Ten Hag's starting lineup.
Mount was left out of Gareth Southgate's England squad for the second international window in a row earlier this week.
While Southgate did not directly discuss Mount's omission, he insisted that the door remains "100% open" to those players who did not make the latest squad, arguing England are in such good form that it has been impossible to drop anybody from his current team.
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