Kobbie Mainoo, the emerging talent at Manchester United, delivered an outstanding performance for the Under 21s during their recent EFL Trophy group stage encounter against Salford.
The 18-year-old had made quite an impression during the early part of the pre-season for the Red Devils. Unfortunately, his promising start was marred by a freak knee injury sustained during a match against Real Madrid.
As a result, he had yet to make an appearance for the club in the current season. However, his return to action may be imminent, as he completed a full 90 minutes for the Under 21s at the Peninsula Stadium.
Despite a 4-3 defeat for the club against the League Two opponent, Mainoo was a standout performer, particularly in the attacking third.
Mainoo was deployed in the playmaker role, wearing the number 10 shirt for the Under 21s. He made a significant impact with two assists and an impressive passing accuracy of 89 percent. The young talent also executed four successful long balls.
In addition to his creative contributions, Mainoo displayed his dribbling skills by winning all of his dribble attempts (2/2) and engaging in two successful ground duels.
From our perspective, Mainoo appears to be back in full match fitness and should soon become a part of Erik ten Hag’s plans.
The Dutch manager had previously demonstrated his faith in the youngster by including him in the midfield during pre-season matches against Arsenal. On that occasion, Mainoo had excelled with two assists and a remarkable 96 percent pass completion rate.
Unfortunately, his promising start was cut short when Casemiro’s challenge on Rodrygo led to a collision, causing Mainoo to suffer his knee injury after just two minutes of play.
Mainoo seems ready to contribute valuable minutes in the upcoming games for Manchester United, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the teenager competes for a starting position as we head into the New Year.
However, it’s safe to assume that he won’t be part of the matchday squad for Manchester United’s upcoming game against Newcastle United at Old Trafford tonight, considering he played a full 90 minutes against Salford just 12 hours earlier.