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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag drops hint over Mason Mount role vs Chelsea

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has suggested Mason Mount may have to wait for a first Premier League start in nearly five months.

Mount returned from a four-month lay-off with a muscular injury against Liverpool last month and he scored his first United goal off the bench in the 1-1 draw with Brentford on Saturday.

The 25-year-old is poised to return to former club Chelsea for United's next Premier League fixture on Thursday night and he last lined up in the league against Brentford on October 7.

Ten Hag is conscious of easing Mount back into the team as he has played in only 14 of United's 41 games this season.

"He's a fantastic football player but it's important first that he is getting and keeping fit," Ten Hag stressed, "because he has had three injuries.

"You see it now with Licha, another injury. So you want to avoid and we have to do this carefully. This is the first objective: to keep him fit. We want to use him [so] that he can benefit and contribute to the team like he did on Saturday when he had a big impact."

READ MORE: United get double injury boost for Chelsea

READ MORE: United have got two major things wrong with their injury crises

Chelsea have only beaten United once in their last 14 encounters and have not beaten them in the league since November 2017.

United are unbeaten in their last seven games at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are enduring another miserable season, languishing in 12th in the Premier League table.

"It's a tough competition," Ten Hag admitted. "It's very tight and also a lot about which players are available and which players are not. When you are on the right side of the line you can have a successful season but in this competition, so competitive, it can be when you are on

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk