Home » Erik ten Hag and Bruno Fernandes sing praises of Kobbie Mainoo’s Everton display

Erik ten Hag and Bruno Fernandes sing praises of Kobbie Mainoo’s Everton display

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United secured their most comfortable win of the season so far, trouncing Everton 3-0 in front of a raucous Goodison Park on Sunday.

The night will be forever remembered for Alejandro Garnacho’s sublime overhead kick, a worthy candidate to win the Goal of the Season award.

The Argentine will rightfully claim all the plaudits but it was Kobbie Mainoo who quietly stole the show, putting in a performance far beyond his years.

Not to forget, the 18-year-old was returning from a major ankle injury and was making his first-ever Premier League start in a hostile environment with the fans baying for blood.

Mainoo stole the show

The England U-19 international’s work rate and desire were top-notch as he covered almost every blade of grass while showing incredible positional awareness.

Whenever the full-back was caught higher up the pitch, the academy sensation dropped in to cover for him while he always asked for the ball in the middle of the park and dropped in as the third centre-back during the build-up.

No wonder manager Erik ten Hag had so many plans for Mainoo only for the midfielder to suffer a freak injury during pre-season against Real Madrid.

United have seen Casemiro struggle this season while in his absence, Sofyan Amrabat has flattered to deceive but Mainoo could be about to solve all of the manager’s headaches.

Now that he is back and put in such a top-class display, the United boss was full of praise for the breakthrough star while tipping him to play a major role in games to come.

“He has a lot of abilities and it was a really disappointing moment in pre-season when he got so badly injured. For him but also for our team because I know he can progress a lot if he plays many of such games as today.

“I know young players will develop very quickly and we thought it was the moment to bring him in. We prepared him properly but he did a great job and now he has to build on this.”

Not only the manager but the skipper Bruno Fernandes was also blown away with what he saw from the academy graduate.

He not only praised his displays on the pitch but also what he has been seeing in training including the teenager’s attitude.

Earns praise from ETH and Bruno

The Portuguese also claimed that learning from the best in the business — Casemiro and Amrabat were proving pivotal in Mainoo’s development.

“I always talk about Kobbie. I think he’s a special player too. What he puts on the game, what he gives to the team, it’s known to anyone in the squad.

“I think he has great players in front of him to learn from because he plays with one of the best in the world like Casemiro. Also Sofyan Amrabat who plays in that position – that is really good and he’s getting everything from them.

“He wants to learn, is eager to learn and I think that’s probably the best capability he has because he wants to learn every time. He’s eager to listen to everyone to get better and better.”

United will now hope he can continue to produce the goods as they enter a pivotal week in their season with a do-or-die Champions League encounter against Galatasaray up next followed by an away clash against Newcastle United.

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