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Marcos Rojo is one of the top five defenders in the world and a big boost to Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera was full of smiles after Marcos Rojo’s return to fitness following his seven-month absence with a knee injury sustained in the UEFA Europa League last season. The Spanish midfielder rates his Argentinian teammate as one of the ‘top five central defenders in the world’. Before injury last season, Rojo was in his best period of his United career, partnering Eric Bailly, injured at this present time, and on the night he suffered the injury, he had made his 41st appearance that season, which was his final appearance.

The injury, which was pretty serious, kept Rojo out of the UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who also suffered a season-ending knee injury on the same night, a double blow for United. Rojo and Ibrahimovic cheered on their teammates in the final, saw them win the match and celebrated with them on the pitch after receiving their medals and lifted the trophy. Rojo even travelled to the United States of America with his teammates on the club’s pre-season tour, not actually playing any of the matches.

Rojo made his return from injury playing for the U23;s, gaining some much-needed match fitness, then returning in the UEFA Champions League against Basel, following that with another good performance in the 4-2 victory over Watford in the Premier League on Tuesday evening, conceding a penalty in the second half which saw the home side score twice in seven minutes. The Argentinian’s return is a big boost for Jose Mourinho, especially with the busy festive period coming into effect with United set to play nine times in December. Herrera, delighted for Rojo spoke in an interview with Premier League productions, reported by the official Manchester United website, saying:

“Last season, when he got injured, I told him that he was in the top five central defenders in the world because his play was outstanding and he was in amazing form. I felt so sorry for him because he got injured in what was the best moment of his career.

“He has been focused on being back and being as fit as possible, so I’m very, very happy for him. Now, he has to be careful because when you have a knee injury, you have to be careful with the rest of your body, but he’s doing amazing.”

United were boosted against Newcastle United earlier in November with the return of Paul Pogba, who started the match and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came off the bench. Rojo was involved in the matchday squad as an unused substitute, playing a few days later in Switzerland against Basel, a 1-0 defeat and the first for United in the UEFA Champions League this season, seeking Mourinho’s side fail to secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition, still needing a point to do just that. Rojo’s comeback against Basel was impressive, launching a thunderous effort which hit the bar. Jose Mourinho, praising the returning Argentinian, said:

“Rojo played very well. He could have been playing a couple of weeks ago. But we didn’t need to rush him into that situation. He was training with the team for quite a long time. We knew Marcos was ready – the doubt was lasting for 90 minutes. He controlled the game very well so I’m happy.”

Rojo was rested against Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League, starting at Vicarage Road against Watford in the 4-2 victory, playing well during the match, apart from giving away the penalty. looking sharp for a player who had spent the previous seven months on the sidelines recovering from his knee injury. United will face Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday evening, a tough encounter, especially with the form of the North London club, who beat Huddersfield Town 5-0 on Wednesday evening.

Mourinho played a three at the back formation against Watford on Tuesday, seemingly doing the same on Saturday against Arsenal and Rojo would surely be one of the first names on the team sheet, providing he got through the Watford match without sustaining an injury and is deemed fit to start again, just four days later. Mourinho will need to keep Rojo fit as another injury could be punishing for the player and the club, especially at this stage of the season.

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