- Kobbie Mainoo has recently become one of Man United’s best players.
- The teenager has represented England at three different youth levels to date.
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England manager Gareth Southgate is keeping a close eye on teenage talent Kobbie Mainoo, impressed by his “fabulous” progress at Manchester United.
The 18-year-old academy graduate joined the Red Devils at nine and has long been tipped for stardom, set to make his first-team debut in January 2023.
Mainoo has made 14 appearances in all competitions for United and would have played more had he not suffered an injury during their tour of the United States in the summer.
“He’s doing brilliantly,” the England manager said after Thursday’s Nations League draw in Paris. “I’m not sure he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder as such.
“He is quite a progressive player but he has had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we move forward.”
England manager Gareth Southgate keeping a close eye on teenage talent Kobbie Mainoo
England return to action with friendlies at Wembley against Brazil and Belgium as preparations continue for Euro 2024 in Germany.
Whether the tournament is too early for Mainoo remains to be seen, but Southgate’s team lacks fit options in midfield, plus he took Jude Bellingham to Euro 2020 as a 17-year-old.
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Stockport-born Mainoo is also eligible for Ghana and their Football Association has expressed interest in calling up the United teenager.
Randy Abbey, a member of the executive council of the Ghana Football Federation, told The Times last week: ‘The Ghana Football Association is interested in monitoring, attracting and persuading all eligible talent for its various national teams.
Southgate says he will be monitoring the midfielder after his ‘fabulous’ progress at United
“Kobbie is definitely one of these incredible talents and the association would love to work with him and many like him at home and abroad.”
Mainoo has started United’s last nine games in all competitions and followed up his first senior goal against Newport in the FA Cup with an injury-time winner against Wolves.
Last week’s extraordinary solo goal secured a 4-3 victory at Molineux and led team-mate Rasmus Hojlund to describe him as a “generational talent”.