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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘Took that on board’: Mainoo shares ‘great advice’ Raphael Varane gave him at Man United

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If you are a teenager looking to make your way in the game – as Kobbie Mainoo most certainly is – then Manchester United’s dressing room must feel like a great source of useful knowledge and career tips.

In Bruno Fernandes, the club’s talismanic captain, Manchester United have one of the finest attacking midfielders of the modern era leading by example.

And, in Casemiro and Raphael Varane, Old Trafford has been home over the last few seasons to a pair of former Real Madrid giants with a combined tally of nine Champions League winners’ medals between them.

The ex-Los Blancos duo may both be on their way this summer – Varane has bid farewell already while Casemiro is expected to end up in Saudi Arabia – but Kobbie Mainoo has made sure not the miss the opportunity to jot down every piece of advice bestowed upon him by two men who have won just about everything that is worth winning in the club game.

(EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Bruno Fernandes, Kobbie Mainoo, Raphael Varane of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carringt...

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Kobbie Mainoo a revelation at Manchester United

“Raphael told me one thing which was great advice,” Mainoo tells Dazed Magazine while rocking a host of technicolor jackets even Julian Nagelsmann may consider a little on the natty side.

“The best investment you make is investing in your body. Obviously, as a footballer, your body is your instrument, it’s what you use. So I took that on board.”

Varane may have been restricted by injury issues throughout much of his career, starting only 16 Premier League games in 2023/24. But it’s testament to the World Cup winners’ discipline and determination that he has still carved out a legacy as one of the finest centre-halves of the 21st century despite the fitness issues which have seen him miss nearly 50 games since arriving at Old Trafford back in 2021.

Varane, alongside matchwinner Mainoo, was one of United’s standout performances in that FA Cup final triumph over Man City at Wembley.

Casemiro was denied a heroic, Varane-style farewell after missing out – reportedly due to injury – but the Brazilian would still have been watching on like a proud older sibling as his 19-year-old team-mate fizzed Bruno Fernandes’ gorgeous assist into the bottom corner.

Casemiro has helped Mainoo develop at United

“He’s already a starter at a club like Manchester United,” Casemiro told TeamViewer Diaries on the Man United website a few months ago.

“It’s not easy. There is a lot of pressure. But I think United will have a top player for the next years, easily. He is a top player. He’s exceptional. He’s a humble, hard-working player. He knows how to listen. He’s a great player.

“Since I play alongside him, I know Manchester United will have one of the best midfielders in the Premier League for the next years, easily.”

“I think we have to recognise his value,” Casemiro adds, imparting his own advice on arguably the most exciting Carrington graduate in a generation. “He’s a great kid. I’m very happy that he’s on our side. As long as he keeps his head on straight, just as he’s doing now, I think we’ll have a great player for many, many years here at United.”

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

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