“We played against Leicester with players with less training than him and we saw that match as a way to improve them and accelerate the process,” the Portuguese told MUTV.

“With Paul it’s a bit the same – he hasn’t played in one single minute of any pre-season matches but has done almost two weeks of work with us, sometimes with the group, sometimes separately, and he is okay now to play some minutes.”

The Red Devils also have Chris Smalling, who sat out the season opener due to a red card he picked up in the FA Cup final, available for the Friday night clash, while Jesse Lingard has recovered from an injury suffered in the Community Shield.

Jose Fonte, who has been linked with a move to United, is in contention to make his first start of the season for Southampton after being given extra holiday following Euro 2016 but Ryan Bertrand is injured.