Erik ten Hag has said he will not hesitate to give chances to young talent at Manchester United after an impressive full Premier League debut from Kobbie Mainoo at Everton.
Mainoo produced an eye-catching performance on his first start in the top flight as Manchester United won 3-0 at Everton on Sunday, with the 18-year-old a composed presence in midfield at Goodison Park.
United captain Bruno Fernandes called the teenager ‘man of the match’ after his impressive outing, with hopes high that the Stockport-born midfielder can break into the side on a regular basis.
Ten Hag’s team face a crucial Champions League clash against Galatasaray on Wednesday evening, where defeat would eliminate the Red Devils from the competition.
United have lost three of their four group games in this season’s competition and require a result in Turkey to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League’s knockout rounds.
Asked whether Mainoo was in contention to feature in the often intimidating Istanbul atmosphere, Ten Hag said age is no issue when it comes to selecting his side.
“If they are good enough, they are old enough,” the Dutchman said at his pre-match press conference.
“We are very pleased with the performance [at Everton], but it’s one performance and you have to do it on a consistent base. Kobbie is so mature, [but] you are only good as your last game.
“Keep your focus on the game. You have to focus on your game, your performance and get the right levels in. When we observe, if a player is moving away from football and getting distracted, we will tell them.”