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Gareth Southgate reacts to Manchester United starlet’s England debut against Brazil

Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo made his England debut in their 1-0 loss to Brazil at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The 18-year-old has been impressive for the Red Devils this season, featuring in 20 games across all competitions and scoring two goals. 

He was rewarded for his excellent displays with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s squad for the two friendlies this month. 

Mainoo wasn’t part of the starting XI against Brazil, but his opportunity came in the 75th minute when he replaced Conor Gallagher to earn his first international cap. 

He was calm and composed on the ball and completed all his passes. 

However, the teenager could do nothing to stop Brazil from winning the Wembley encounter after Endrick popped up with the decisive goal in the 80th minute.

Southgate was impressed by the midfielder’s qualities.

“Kobbie, it was a chance for him to dip his toes in,” he said (h/t the Guardian).  “We’ve brought him with us, and we needed to refresh some of the team.”

“To get Kobbie on the pitch was clearly a brilliant moment for him and his family.

“You saw a couple of turns and a couple of really composed moments that is a bit of an indication of what he might become.”

Mainoo had made only three appearances for United before this season but has become a key member of Erik ten Hag’s first team.

He was one of the standout performers for the Red Devils in their 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool last weekend.

Mainoo will likely feature in England’s second friendly with Belgium on Tuesday night before his return to United.