Looming menacingly behind Jose Mourinho on the bench at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago was forgotten man Marcos Rojo.
Rojo has not played a minute all season since returning injured from the World Cup. He now appears ready to start making an impact.
The Argentine has had a mixed spell under Mourinho, earning his trust in his first season at the club.
Last season injuries meant for a disrupted year in which he played only 12 times. Despite this he was handed a contract in March which runs until 2021.
This may just be the club protecting their asset, who they signed for £16 million in 2014, but it shows Rojo was a player they did not want to lose.
Rojo made his return in an under-23 game in mid-September, playing 54 minutes before suffering a minor setback. Since then he has yet to feature for the first team.
He did finally make the substitute’s bench for the first time against Everton last weekend, demonstrating that he is now considered ready by Jose Mourinho.
What role lies ahead?
United’s first choice defensive partnership is currently Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling, but this feels more short-term than long-term.
There is a chance for Rojo to start staking his claim, and he will likely be eased in off the bench rather than thrown in as a starter. He could be a very useful option for a defence which has lacked aggression at times this season.
It may not be until the really busy run of fixtures in December that Rojo’s presence will come in handy, giving United an extra option to rotate.
He was selected on the bench ahead of Phil Jones at the weekend, indicating he is ahead of the much-derided Englishman in the pecking order.
A bit part role is expected, but the opportunity is certainly there for Rojo to make a play for a regular role.
To do so he will have to hit top form and show he is past his recent injury troubles, but United fans will have to be patient with him too.