Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, gave Kobbie Mainoo his first start in last night’s Carabao Cup quarterfinal match against League One team Charlton at Old Trafford.
In Erik ten Hag’s starting lineup for the Carabao Cup quarterfinal matchup against Charlton at Old Trafford, Mainoo was included. After being named to the United manager’s bench against Newcastle and Wolves earlier this season, it was the teenager’s first call-up, leaving fans wondering who he was.
In United’s academy teams, 17-year-old midfielder Mainoo is currently creating waves. The Stockport-born child was first signed by the Red Devils at the age of nine after playing for Cheadle & Gatley youngsters.
He later made an impression everywhere and advanced swiftly through the club’s junior system. The current season of Mainoo’s career at the U21 level is with United. In May 2022, he received his first professional contract with the club.
United Manager, Erik Ten Hag has this to say while speaking to the club’s official website, the Dutchman said: “It’s not experience it’s about, they [young players] have to deliver. You are here to contribute to the team, to the team’s success, and that is why is here.”
Explaining his decision to play Mainoo against Charlton, Ten Hag told MUTV: “The most important thing is to win this game and get into the next round. We want to get into the semi-finals, so it’s a big game. For him [Mainoo] it’s a great opportunity, he did very well during the winter camp in Spain. He also did very well against Everton in a friendly. He deserved to play, so I’m happy to give him the opportunity – it’s about deserving it. He has to [be ready].”
While giving his post-match interview, he had this to say; “My whole family was there to see me tonight. It was fantastic”.
Mainoo appears to be the real deal, in contrast to many young athletes who were hailed for big things early in their careers before losing that promise later. Earlier this season, he dazzled against Brighton’s U21 team before putting up an equally brilliant performance against League Two team Carlisle United in the EFL Trophy.
A vital member of the team that defeated Nottingham Forest to win the FA Youth Cup in May of last year, Mainoo has since been given numerous chances to shine while working with the United first team.