Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praise on the “loved and feared” Marcos Rojo after the defender starred in Manchester United’s win over Partizan Belgrade.
Goals from Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford secured a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford as United made it through to the last-32 of the Europa League on Thursday night.
Rojo was making his eighth appearance of the season for United alongside Harry Maguire in defence.
The Argentinean had looked set to leave the club in the summer having been linked with a move to Everton among others, but Solskjaer is delighted he stayed.
“I thought he was excellent tonight. I think he’s been excellent since we started pre-season,” said the Norwegian.
“He’s played maybe more than he expected but that’s why he’s still here.
“He’s a top-quality footballer.
“He’s a winner, good mentality, he can pass, he can defend.
“It’s now about keeping him fit and he’s been fit now for a long, long time and you can see his qualities.”
Only two of Rojo’s eight appearances for United this season have come in the Premier League, but Solskjaer suggested he could be in line to feature more often in the top-flight.
“You know he’s got such a big heart and such a passion for football and he’s a winner,” he continued.
“To have him around when he’s fit and in a good mood, good form, has been great for us.
“The boys love him, he spreads fear in training sometimes because he tackles properly.
“He’s one of the ones who really, really cares about this game.
“I think he’s taking his opportunities every time he’s played.
“He did it against Liverpool … fantastic, he wasn’t happy he didn’t play against Bournemouth of course, but he played well tonight.”