Kobbie Mainoo form 'forces' Man Utd decision on future of experienced midfield duo
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After making his way through the famed Red Devils academy in recent years, the 18-year-old made his senior debut last season as Erik ten Hag’s men claimed a 3-0 win in a Carabao Cup tie against Charlton Athletic. A Premier League debut would follow just weeks later when Mainoo came off the bench to replace Marcel Sabitzer in a 3-0 home win against Leicester City.
The England Under-19 star continued to impress in pre-season and has taken advantage of a number of injuries suffered by team-mates to secure a regular spot in Ten Hag’s matchday squad this season. Mainoo has made 16 appearances in all competitions and scored his first goals as a senior player when he found the net in the thrilling 4-3 win at Wolves and last weekend’s FA Cup win at Newport County.
Ten Hag spoke recently of Mainoo’s progression and the importance Casemiro will have on the youngster’s development, saying: “I am happy he (Casemiro) is back. For Kobbie, he can learn a lot from him. Kobbie is very coachable and Casemiro has so much experience, Kobbie will learn a lot from it and that will accelerate his development. I am happy to have him and when they play together they can benefit from each other.”
However, Mainoo’s impressive introduction into the Premier League could spell the end of Sofyan Amrabat’s hopes of landing a permanent move to Old Trafford after the Morocco international struggled to make a serious impact during the first half of a season-long loan deal. Journalist Dean Jones has suggested Mainoo will become ‘a mainstay’ of Ten Hag’s side and that has placed questions over the future of Amrabat and fellow midfielder Christian Eriksen.
He told GiveMeSport: “Mainoo is preferred to both Eriksen and Amrabat. I think it speaks a lot about the future of all three players. Mainoo is going to become a mainstay of this Man Utd team. Amrabat’s loan is not going to be extended beyond this season; Man Utd will not take up any option on that. Eriksen’s future is up in the air. He's linked with Galatasaray at the moment but I don't think that that deal will go through either on the player’s or United’s side for now.”