only completed a deal for on deadline day because of injury to , has claimed.
The Red Devils were in a race against time to sign the Morocco midfielder on a loan deal from Fiorentina in August.
United waited until the final days of the window to move to Amrabat, which many assumed was down to the club’s tight Financial Fair Play situation.
Amrabat eventually joined United on a season-long loan deal but there was no obligation to buy clause included in the deal.
Mainoo had been the star of United’s pre-season tour before he suffered an ankle injury that would eventually sideline him for three months.
The teenager returned to fitness two weeks ago and was selected to make his Premier League debut against Everton on Sunday, before even making a substitute appearance on his return from injury.
Mainoo was selected to start ahead of Amrabat, and Neville says he was told the Moroccan was only signed because of injury to the teenager.
‘I’d heard earlier on in the season because I’m like everybody else I’m asking “What’s going on? Why are we not signing a player in midfield? And it was told to me that if Mainoo stays fit then they won’t sign another midfield player.
‘Mainoo obviously got injured with the ankle injury and then all of a sudden Amrabat came back onto the table. But they weren’t going to sign another player.
‘They were looking at Mainoo as being the solution and I was like [puffs cheeks] “That’s a lot of faith to put into a young player from Erik ten Hag but I can see why in those 70 minutes we watched. I was disappointed when he went off but you can’t criticise Ten Hag for bringing off a young player and putting some experience on but there was still something in the game, United hadn’t got a third by that point.
‘He was still the best player on the pitch. Mainoo was United’s best player throughout the game and mostly throughout that period that United were drifting and went asleep.’
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