Thursday, April 25, 2024

Kobbie Mainoo backed to deal with limelight after England call

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Mar 2024

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Wes Brown is confident Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo possesses the temperament to take his rapid ascent to the England squad in his stride.

The 18-year-old was this week called up by England boss Gareth Southgate for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, just four months after making his first Premier League start as Erik ten Hag’s side won 3-0 away to Everton.

Midfielder Mainoo has gone on to make 20 appearances this season and 44-year-old Brown, who has personal experience of coming through the youth ranks at United before going on to play for England, does not expect the youngster to get carried away by his remarkable rise.

“You can see from the way he plays that he’s very calm,” Brown told the PA news agency as he helped promote United’s July friendly against Rangers in Edinburgh.

“I don’t think he’ll let all the other stuff get to him, and that’s a good trait to have. He’s just thinking about football, and when you first come in that’s all you do think about.

“But since he’s come in he’s taken it upon himself to give himself the type of responsibility on the pitch that a lot of young players wouldn’t usually do.

“He’s been calm with the ball, and even when he comes under pressure, the way he gets out of that and passes the ball forward causes teams problems.”

Brown – who made more than 300 appearances for United under Sir Alex Ferguson – is still involved at Old Trafford in an ambassadorial role and would love to see Stockport-born Mainoo make a late surge for Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad.

“He’s someone the club have always held in high regard,” said Brown. “The way injuries have gone this season, it’s possibly forced their hand to put him in, but he’s also had to earn it.

“Once he’s got in, he’s been one of the best players in the team, if not the best. Gareth obviously sees the potential in him, and I think it’s good for him that he’s put in with the (England) boys to see how he reacts in training, and he might even get a game as well.

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