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Marcos Rojo return: Where does he play?

Wednesday 18th October 2017
Marcos Rojo returns to Manchester United's fold following an April injury. Where will the Argentine defender fit into Jose Mourinho's team?

News emerged that Rojo is included in the Red Devils' travelling squad for today's match at SL Benfica, at a time when injuries seem to be decimating his plans. It's a welcome boost for Jose Mourinho.

The question Mourinho must answer is, will Marcos Rojo feature in United's plans? Phil Jones is performing like a man possessed, Eric Bailly is looking sharp. Ashley Young is making that troublesome left-back role his own. Antonio Valencia is Antonio Valencia. With no glaring need, it'sI not going to be easy for the ex-Sporting Lisbon hot-shot to find regular playing time.
First, the 27-year-old deserves endless credit for getting himself back ahead of schedule. Just a couple of months ago, Mourinho claimed that his #5 wouldn't be available until December. Even if Rojo doesn't take the field against Benfica, he seems to be healing far quicker than the self-proclaimed Special believed.

Before going down with a cruciate injury, Rojo appeared on 41 occasions for Manchester United last term. Mostly, he was deployed as a centre-back alongside the emergent Bailly. The pair clicked instantly, forming a back two who loved to defend on the front-foot. Opposing forwards weren't alone no time or space on the ball.

Fast-forward six months and Rojo has a certain Englishman ahead of him. Jones has been far and away Manchester United's most reliable defender. With the 25-year-old, the Red Devils have kept eight clean sheets in nine Premier League fixtures. It seems (touch wood), Jones' horrific injury record is in the rearview; displacing him in the starting line-up won't be easy.

Although Bailly missed United's clash against Liverpool, with an injury, he shouldn't be absent for long. The Ivory Coast international was Mourinho's first Old Trafford signing- what an astute piece of business it was. He's tough in the tackle, loves a physical battle, and works tirelessly. The perfect defender for Premier League football.
When Rojo first moved to the Theatre of Dreams, he was signed as a left-back. United fans realise what a problem area that has been over recent years. Luke Shaw isn't reliable; Daley Blind is not quick; Matteo Darmian lacks the positional nous. Mourinho has now turned to the unlikely hero Young.

The versatile veteran has unexpectedly forced his way into the starting XI after a summer when he was mooted for a move to China. When you think about it, Young has all the requisite attributes to be a top full-back He's quick, defends diligently, works hard, and can deliver an inch-perfect cross.

Regaining his place is quite the conundrum for Rojo, then. Without a doubt, he'll be given opportunities. He's earned them. Where, however, is anyone's guess.

Mourinho trusts the Argentine wholeheartedly, and football is now, more than ever, a squad game. Injuries occur, as do fixture pile-ups. Having Marcos Rojo back spells only good news for Manchester United fans. Expect him to have a big say in the 2017/18 campaign.
Jordan Street

Jordan Street, 25-year old sports writer. Avid Manchester United fan and season ticket holder. Lover of the Premier League. Enjoys American sports. Tom Brady's biggest admirer, Kyrie Irving for MVP.


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