Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that young right-back Diogo Dalot will not play in the Premier League against Wolves on Saturday, with the boss intent on allowing the youngster time to adapt to the demands of regular first team football.
Dalot gave an impressive performance on his United debut in the Champions League on Wednesday night after recovering from the knee injury he was nursing when signed from Porto for £19m over the summer.
But rather than keep him in the lineup after only a couple of days of rest, Mourinho has explained that he plans to let the 19-year-old properly recuperate before he next picks him. That will be next midweek in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford.
"Dalot will not play tomorrow but he will play on Tuesday against Derby in the Carabao Cup. I want him in this process of adaptation. I want him to play totally fresh," Mourinho explained.
"He's a very good player. [On Wednesday] he showed the ones that didn't know him very well that he's not a player to be here just on formation, he's a player here to compete for positions."
The likelihood is that club captain Antonio Valencia will return for the Wolves game. The Ecuadorian may then find himself vying for a place with Dalot as the season progresses.
Marcus Rashford remains suspended, with Anthony Martial hoping he can hold off competition from Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata to keep his starting place. Nemanja Matic is also banned, meaning Fred could get his first Premier League start since the Tottenham defeat.
United have won three games on the spin in all competitions in the weeks since shock back-to-back losses in August, with positive momentum now building after that rocky form.
"The team is resolving the defensive problems better than before. The team is more compact, more solid. The spirit, the co-operation, the empathy, the communication has all improved and good results bring confidence," Mourinho explained.