Kobbie Mainoo has started all three pre-season games for Manchester United to date and his most recent display was the most impressive yet.
The 18-year-old lined up against a first choice Arsenal side and played a key role in Manchester United’s 2-0 victory.
The teenager’s display followed up bright performances in the win over Leeds and Lyon, and he looks like a first team player.
Bryan Robson praises Kobbie Mainoo
Legendary Manchester United captain Bryan Robson has given his seal of approval to the teenager.
The former Red Devils number seven spoke to MUTV’s The Debate about Mainoo, expressing how he has been impressed by the youngster.
Robson said: “I was really impressed, against a team like Arsenal. He’s not a kid who comes into the team as a central midfield player who just goes chasing about trying to impress the manager and all that.
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“He’s calculated, he’s reading the game, and he’s doing things in his own time, so he closes down really well, he receives the ball, changes the pattern of the game, quickens it up when he wants to quicken it up, he’s using his football brain, and I’m quite impressed.
“He just played, used his football intelligence, and he can have a good career. That’s not me trying to put pressure on the kid.”
Mainoo gives United a decision to make
Erik ten Hag has an interesting decision to make this week with two matches against Wrexham and Real Madrid.
Mainoo has earned the right to be with the senior side against Real, rather than with the youngsters against Wrexham, but that doesn’t guarantee his spot.
Ten Hag will be aware that a big performance against Real will see the Mainoo hype grow, and he may seek to protect the youngster from that, while also challenging him to see how he responds to dropping down a level.
The manager may decide he has seen enough from Mainoo, that his spot in the first team next season has already been assured. But it would be pretty exciting to see how he gets on against Real’s star-studded midfield.