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‘So talented’: Kobbie Mainoo told he brings ‘missing’ quality to England, Man City midfielder could never do it

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Kobbie Mainoo has been told he’s already bringing a quality to England that has been severely lacking in recent years.

Kobbie Mainoo’s remarkable rise up the football ranks continued this past week as he made his bow on the international stage.

The Manchester United starlet initially wasn’t even selected in the England squad for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

Yet, Gareth Southgate changed his mind to promote Mainoo and handed him his first cap against Brazil before his full debut on Tuesday night.

The midfielder put in a Player of the Match performance against Belgium at Wembley, impressing with his tenacity in the tackle and his forward-thinking with distribution.

Mainoo helped create England’s first goal by winning back possession and quickly moving the ball forward, with Ivan Toney eventually winning and scoring a penalty.

It was a fantastic display and it looks like there will be plenty more to come.

  • READ MORE: Who is Kobbie Mainoo? Inside the life of Man Utd’s rising star, including his parents, brother and school

Kobbie Mainoo on the ball.

Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images


At just 18, Mainoo looks to be the missing piece in England’s midfield, creating a quality and balanced trio with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

Gabby Agbonlahor believes he will be selected for Euro 2024 and marvelled at how Mainoo does things Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips never did in the England side.

Speaking on TalkSPORT, Agbonlahor said: “What I do love about watching Mainoo.

“Is even for the Ivan Toney penalty, Kalvin Phillips probably plays it back to Maguire, it goes back to the keeper, back to the left-back.

“Mainoo’s little, quick turn, pass it to Bellingham, Bellingham puts Toney through and penalty.

“He’s thinking forward, he’s got that close control. He’s got the outside of the boot quick pass.

“People might look at that pass to Bellingham and think it’s easy. Outside of the boot, it’s not.

“To have that technique, how strong he is getting through challenges, I thought it was such a good performance from him and it is what we’ve been missing.

“Kalvin Phillips has been in squads and squads and squads when he’s not been playing for City.

“Everyone’s been frustrated. I think, hopefully, he has another 10 games at United and he’s playing until the end of the season.

“He’s got a great chance of starting with Rice and Bellingham in front.

“Or, if he doesn’t, and he starts Gallagher or Henderson, after the second game you can see Mainoo coming in. The fans outburst.

“He can get back, he has shown he can get back, get the ball back, he’s strong, aggressive.

“And for 18-year-olds to come in for your England debut and just be so confident. When he comes on against Brazil and he’s getting on the ball and doing a flick, he’s so talented.”

Very high praise for Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo

While Agbonlahor’s criticism of Phillips is slightly harsh – it completely forgets his fine assist for Raheem Sterling’s goal in the 1-0 Euro 2020 group stage win against Croatia – he is bang on with his praise.

Phillips has been good for England and that shouldn’t be forgotten after his fall from grace but Mainoo is already on another level.

The teenage sensation could be the final piece that completes an incredible England team and, whisper it, finally sees them win a trophy.

Now everyone needs to keep everything crossed he doesn’t pick up a typical injury just before the tournament.

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