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Why Gareth Southgate called Kobbie Mainoo up to the England Squad

Manchester United’s, Kobbie Mainoo, 18, received a welcome surprise on Tuesday Morning, as the young midfielder received late call-up for England’s internationals.

Many were intrigued to see whether Mainoo would have been called up initially, however that was not to be, until England manager, Gareth Southgate, re-thought his decision to leave the young Englishman out of his original squad.

Mainoo has been the shining light at Manchester United in what has been a dismal season. Showing spells of world-class potential in most of his starts for the club, Southgate will hope that he brings these qualities in England’s upcoming matches against Brazil and Belgium.

Since his first premier league start for United back in November against Everton, the 18-year-old has featured regularly in the Red Devil’s starting eleven, showing both composure and skill, matched with his incredible progressive passing ability has made him the main man in that midfield.

Robbie Mainoo appearance vs Everton, Credit: Manchester Evening News

A prime example of Mainoo’s composure and maturity was seen especially in Manchester United’s away journey to Kenilworth Road in a victory over Luton. For a good portion of the game, Luton were on top, experienced players in the team like Casemiro and Harry Maguire started to struggle, but it was Mainoo who calmed the game down and kept it simple.

Most recently, arguably the game of the season was played out at Old Trafford, between Manchester United and Liverpool in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, where the home side won the game 4-3 to progress to the semi-finals.

A huge part of their success that day was Kobbie Mainoo’s ability to help United transition from defence to attack in one pass. The standout midfielder of the day, competing against the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo, and Dominik Szobozslai who have been brilliant for Liverpool this season.

The highlight of his season by no means had to be the winning goal in a 4-3 victory over Wolves at the Molineux Stadium back in early February, where a 97th minute goal from Mainoo sealed three points for the visitors.

Kobbie Mainoo celebrating against Wolves, Credit: Goal.com

There has been speculation whether Mainoo would be able to make the shortlist for England in the Euros this summer, with Southgate’s recent U-turn it is beginning to look more and more likely. Not only would it be invaluable experience for a young player to experience an international tournament at such a young age but would prepare him for the World Cup in just two year’s time.

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