Kobbie Mainoo reveals four positions he can play in to help both England and Manchester United

The 19-year-old is the future for both United and England and given time he will shine

Manchester United and England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is the future for both club and country and will continue to show the faith given to him in development. Called up for England during Euro 2024, Mainoo has risen in stature since making his debut for United in the 2022/23 season.

Full of confidence and composure, Mainoo was recently asked when the last time that he lost his composure was, to which he answered; “Maybe when we won the FA Cup.” This shows that Mainoo is the kind of player that will reward his own hard work when success comes calling.

Mainoo, 19, scored his first Wembley goal, which turned out to be the winner as Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup final. The trajectory of his career has been rather steep over the last year rising from U18 football, to senior level and then playing for his country.

That though has not fazed Mainoo as he has gone from strength to strength in first team level for United and given the chance he will do the same for England. Speaking about his meteoric rise in the game, Mainoo said;

“Things have been happening quite quickly. But just try to take it a game at a time, a day at a time. It’s just been working for me so far.”

Mainoo made his first Premier League start for United back in November when he was named the Man of the Match in United’s 3-0 victory over Everton. He continued in the United side, which had their ups and downs – more downs than ups during the course of the 2023/24 season.

He then made his England debut against Brazil, which rewarded his desire and scored some blinding goals for United against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool before scoring his sublime goal against Manchester City which helped United lift the Emirates FA Cup at the end of the season.

Mainoo, now an England star, made his tournament debut for his country as England beat Serbia 1-0 in Gelsenkirchen on Sunday evening and will be seeking to find involvement against Denmark in Frankfurt on Thursday evening. It would be great to see what he can do for England this summer.

There really is a feeling that Mainoo could do what he has done at United for England. Him popping up and scoring a sublime goal for his country could be the icing on the cake for the teenager. Mainoo started in the game as a striker but enjoys more time on the ball. Mainoo said:

“Whether you are in the squad or a kid at home watching, everyone dreams of scoring big goals for their country and it is always going to be the dream, isn’t it?

“If I get in the team or have chances to make an impact, if that comes in the way of scoring or defending I don’t mind. Anything to help the team.

“Being an attacker when I was younger, I always enjoyed scoring goals.

“It’s definitely up there as one of my favourite parts of the game but I like defending as well and anywhere on the pitch for England or United, I don’t mind where I play.

“I was a striker for most of my academy days. I love being on the ball and playing futsal, I was always comfortable playing in tight areas and like to turn with the ball.

“I was getting a bit frustrated playing as a striker. I wasn’t getting the ball a lot and I love time with the ball so it was more ­natural to move back, play ten a bit, then I played on the wing and then more recently played centre midfield.”

England manager Gareth Southgate seems to have selected Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold as the midfield partner for Declan Rice. If Southgate ditches this experiment, Mainoo seems to be the favourite to start alongside his national teammate who plays for Arsenal.

Former England and United goalscorer Wayne Rooney has tipped Mainoo to become a starting player for England, seemingly having notice that the teenager has what it takes when it comes to football. Speaking after his tournament debut against Serbia, Mainoo continued by saying:

“Growing up a United fan, Rooney was an idol. I used to watch Ronaldinho a lot on ­YouTube but it is mostly United players. So it was nice to hear what Wayne said.

“I appreciate good words from a legend of football — it is amazing to receive that.”

Mainoo really seems to be in the right place at the right time and is unfazed by mixing with players who really have shown their worth to be playing for England. He said Jude Bellingham was a future ‘Ballon d’Or contender’ and Declan Rice was ‘worth every penny’ of his £105 million transfer fee.

Mainoo also spent time chatting to Manchester City’s Phil Foden – a lad who grew up in Stockport like him and Chelsea attacking midfielder, formerly of City, Cole Palmer, who grew up in neighbouring Wythenshawe. Mainoo talked about this, saying:

“The other day we were talking about where we grew up, we were naming all the local teams that we used to play against, Cole Palmer as well as Phil, because he is from a similar area. So we were talking about all our grassroot sides. It is nice to have someone who’s from near to where I lived.”

Mainoo also talked about the rivalry, especially that between United and City – even more so after United beat City in the FA Cup final this season – having lost to their rivals in the previous season. The 19-year-old was asked about speaking to City players who faced in the FA Cup final, saying:

“I might have spoken a couple of times on the first day we met up, with John Stones and Kyle Walker. They were having a laugh about it. But we’re on the same team now and put it to one side.”

That shows that the rivalry is there at club level but Mainoo sees that when you are playing for the same team, the rivalry is put aside. It is good to see such a young footballer see things this way as for many supporters, they cannot support rival players playing for the country.

Mainoo is obviously a special kind of person and player and that is even better to see. The lad is grounded that nothing will ever faze him and he is the type of player that does not appear that often. It is going to be great watching in in Euro 2024, as long as England progress.

It is clear that his peers see him as the kind of player that deserves to be starting and can see the potential that he can bring for both club and country. I guess all we need now is for Gareth Southgate to show some leadership and make the changes from his ‘experiment’ this summer.

Written by Paul


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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.