Erik ten Hag gives verdict on Kobbie Mainoo's England chances as warning sent to Man Utd's rivals

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Calls have intensified for the Manchester United youngster to get his England debut.

Erik ten Hag insists he has no say in Kobbie Mainoo's international future as calls intensify for the Manchester United star to get his first England call-up.

Mainoo is enjoying an outstanding breakthrough season at United, quickly becoming a regular starter since making his Premier League debut at Everton in November. The 18-year-old has often been preferred to the likes of Sofyan Amrabat and Casemiro in central midfield and will be in the running for the club's Player of the Season award.

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Such form has understandably led to clamour for Mainoo to get his England debut, particularly given recent reports that Ghana are also hoping to snap him up. The midfielder could make a late push for Gareth Southgate's Euro 2024 squad but Ten Hag's only demand is that he keeps improving.

“It's not up to me,” Ten Hag told Football Focus of Mainoo’s England chances. “Gareth Southgate, knows very well what he wants and it's up to him. The only thing I can see is that [he has] high potential. Every time he is going to high levels, every training session, every game he’s playing at high levels. He has a high potential but it's up to him to keep the process going.”

Mainoo's emergence has typified the growing optimism around United as part of a core of young stars helping the team to six wins in seven games across all competitions. That good feeling was helped by confirmation of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's arrival as a minority shareholder last month and Ten Hag has already seen signs of improvement inside the club.

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“I think especially on the performance side they can help us a lot, building a culture of high standards,” the Reds boss added. “They can accelerate the process. This club was falling down in standards, but now we are back and I have already seen examples where they can support us to set the right standard.”

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