Kobbie Mainoo of England during the international friendly match between England and Brazil at Wembley Stadium on March 23, 2024 in London, England.
England and Man Utd midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.
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Ten Hag not surprised by Mainoo’s England impact

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said he is not surprised by Kobbie Mainoo’s impressive first performances for England.

Mainoo’s meteoric rise this season saw the 18-year-old handed an England call-up for March’s international break and the teenager featured in friendly fixtures against Brazil and Belgium this month.

 

Against the latter, Mainoo was named man-of-the-match on his full international debut and Ten Hag praised the performances of the Stockport-born midfielder in an England shirt. However, the Dutchman said he was not surprised to see Mainoo look ‘very natural’ with the Three Lions.

“I thought Mainoo’s performance for England was very good but we are not surprised,” Ten Hag said at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Brentford in the Premier League this weekend.

“We have seen that he can adapt very quickly to high levels and it looks very natural to him. Very proud. Good for the academy at Manchester United that they bring a player up so quickly and he goes into England.

“Also good for all the ones who worked with him when he was coming up. Very good for Manchester United. We have discussed this before [his rapid rise] and so far he handles it very well.

 

“If he crosses the line, of course me as a manager and as coaches, we will interfere but so far it is not necessary. He just wants to have fun on the pitch. For him it is fun to be dominant and control games.”

Read – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

See more – Five left-backs Manchester United could target this summer

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