Louis Saha highlights similarities between £30m-rated Man United star and 'phenomenon' Old Trafford legend

The former Manchester United star has been analysing some recent performances.

Manchester United's Premier League performances continue to yo-yo as they find themselves struggling to close the gap on this year's top four, despite earning a comfortable third-place finish last season.

The Red Devils are currently sixth in the table on 47 points, nine behind fourth-place Aston Villa. During a jittery run towards the end of 2023, there was a lot of talk over Erik ten Hag being in trouble as United lost to the likes of Newcastle, Bournemouth, West Ham and Nottingham Forest all in December.

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With better results on the board in 2024, Ten Hag's ship has steadied but there is still a lot of work to do at Old Trafford. A number of players have been tipped to leave the club this summer as Sir Jim Ratcliffe looks to kickstart a restructure within the first team.

The likes of Anthony Martial and Jonny Evans are expected to leave at the end of the season when their contracts expire, but the Reds are also considering a pretty hefty selling spree. Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho have been linked to permanent exits and United have also been mulling over the futures of Casemiro and Harry Maguire.

Amid these axe-wielding talks, there are a number of players whose position at the club is cemented. Kobbie Mainoo is one player who has snatched his opportunity with both hands and impressed with his performances in United's midfield.

The 18-year-old has commanded the spotlight and earned himself a lot of praise for his professional performances. His Transfermarkt value has shot up from €800,000 (£686k) to €35 million (£30m) in less than 12 months. Ex-Old Trafford star Louis Saha is hopeful Mainoo's already impressive trajectory will see him become one of the Premier League's best midfielders.

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"There are good signs that this could be the case, but he still needs to improve physically. On the ball, he's got a bit of a mix of Xavi [Hernández] and Sergio Busquets about him when he goes forward, but he doesn’t necessarily have the body of a Marouane Fellaini or Paul Pogba," the former striker told Betfred.

"Kobbie has shown that he can play well consistently and people can play around him, so it’s very good to have a player of his talent and he’s capable of playing under pressure and providing the wingers with the opportunity to compete in one-on-one situations. Hopefully he can continue to improve over the next few years."

Saha also made comparisons between Mainoo and Paul Scholes, who, of course, is heavily regarded as one of the best midfielders in the game. The United legend has earned praise from fellow footballing greats over the years, including the Brazilian icon Ronaldo, who once deflected his own nickname onto Scholes, describing him as 'the phenomenon'.

"In the last few years of his career, Paul Scholes was able to drop deeper into the midfield and go forward less because he was smart enough to be in the right areas at the right time. Kobbie has that same positional awareness. He’s very aware of where his teammates are and he doesn’t panic, so these are great qualities to have at his age," Saha continued.

"To provide this kind of reassurance to the manager is great and that’s why I think he’s playing regularly because he’s very composed and he’s improving game to game."

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