Manchester United ace Kobbie Mainoo set for Euro 2024 boost after 'absurd' squad decision slammed

Kobbie Mainoo is already a star for Man Utd and is on his way to becoming one for England as well
Kobbie Mainoo shone during his first senior England campKobbie Mainoo shone during his first senior England camp
Kobbie Mainoo shone during his first senior England camp

Kobbie Mainoo's chances of featuring at this summer's European Championship could be boosted with England manager Gareth Southgate set to name an expanded initial squad for the tournament.

The Manchester United ace only made his senior England debut last week and followed it up with an impressive performance on his first start for the Three Lions on Tuesday night. At this moment in time, Mainoo is considered a wildcard option for Southgate's final tournament squad with his two international friendly appearances coming at a time when a number of players were missing through injury.

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How the 18-year-old performs in the final months of the Premier League season could decide whether or not he makes the final squad, though he looks likely to be named in the initial 26-man squad at the very least.

Southgate will name a provisional 26-man squad on 21 May, two days after the end of the Premier League season. As things stand, he will then have to name a reduced 23-man squad 7 June, although there are still talks to potentially bring back the larger squads that were used at the previous two major tournaments.

This week, Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman described Uefa's decision to reduce squad sizes for this summer's tournament as 'absurd' given the demands on players. International squad numbers were initially increased from 23 to 26 for the European Championship in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the risk of multiple cases of infection within a squad forcing players to isolate.

Uefa say they have 'taken note' of negative comments about the reduced squad sizes and will listen to the view of coaches at an upcoming workshop on 8 April. An extra three places in the England squad would certainly boost Mainoo's hopes of going to Euro 2024, though if he keeps up the good form then he might be in the final 23-man squad regardless of what Uefa decide to do next.