Premier League

Gareth Southgate responds to Kobbie Mainoo England calls

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England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted he is keen to keep watching Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo’s emergence.

Mainoo dazzled in pre-season but saw his breakout delayed by injury, but the 18-year-old now has 16 appearances for United to his name and recently netted his first Premier League goal in dramatic fashion to seal a 4-3 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

His impressive form has seen many fans call for Mainoo to be handed a spot in Southgate’s next England squad, particularly following reports that Ghana are trying to convince the teenager to switch his international allegiance.

Asked about Mainoo’s emergence, Southgate said: “I think he’s doing brilliantly for a young player. He’s had an excellent start for United.

“I’m not certain he’s necessarily going to be a defensive midfielder, as such. He’s quite a progressive player, but he’s had a fabulous start to his career and it will be good to monitor him as we go forward.”

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United boss Erik ten Hag recently insisted United fans can be excited about a future with Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Hojlund in the team.

“I think they enjoy to play together,” he told a press conference. “There is adventure, they are a danger, they want to do it together. They want also to pass the ball to each other and everyone can play to the qualities and everyone can score goals.

“It is great if they want to do it together, because I think that is the key, and then they can have a lot of pleasure from this and they are young players. I said it before, the future for Manchester United is quite bright and there is so much talent on board.

“But we have to develop the talent because there is a lot of space for improvement and that is necessary if you want to go to top levels and if you want to achieve a lot. This club wants to win trophies, so it is very ambitious, so they have to step up and bring higher levels. They have to bring consistency in their game but also against the best opposition they have to express the same threat, [because] it is all about that end product.”


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