Comparing young talents to established stars is inevitable in football, even if not always beneficial. Kobbie Mainoo has drawn comparisons to Paul Pogba, particularly after his standout performance for Manchester United’s Under-21s against Salford City in October.
During that game, Mainoo showcased his vision and passing ability, earning praise akin to Pogba’s style. His maturity on the pitch has prompted suggestions that he’s outgrown academy football and is ready for the first team.
After carefully managing his return from injury, Mainoo has quickly become a fixture in Erik ten Hag’s side, a testament to his exceptional talent and temperament.
Despite his young age, Mainoo’s performances have caught the eye of many, with some even tipping him for a potential call-up to the England squad for the European Championship.
Comparisons to Pogba are natural, given their shared trajectory from the United academy. However, Mainoo’s demeanor and dedication set him apart, with none of the character issues that plagued Pogba’s time at the club.
While Mainoo has excelled in a deep-lying midfield role, there’s belief that his future lies further up the pitch as a No.8, with goalscoring identified as an area for improvement.
His recent goals against Newport County and Wolves underscore his progress and potential. His match-winning goal against Wolves was described as a moment of brilliance, earning praise from teammates and coaches alike.
Erik ten Hag has been particularly impressed by Mainoo’s development, highlighting his determination and character. With the right guidance, Mainoo has the makings of a future star.
At Carrington, a new talent has emerged, with Mainoo poised to fulfill the promise that once surrounded Pogba’s return to United.