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Head of Man Utd academy sees Kobbie Mainoo as potential England star at Euro 2024

The 2023/24 Premier League campaign was supposed to be a season of Manchester United’s long-awaited return to the title frame.

However, things haven’t gone well for manager Erik ten Hag and his squad. The Red Devils are fighting to secure Europa League qualification at the end of an underwhelming campaign.

However, it’s not all been doom and gloom. 

Alejandro Garnacho’s affirmation at Old Trafford and Kobbie Mainoo’s meteoric rise from a teenage sensation to an established first-team member can offer Man Utd supporters hope for the future.

Nick Cox, head of the youth academy, has helped the growth of the two phenomenal young talents, expected to be the protagonists of a new era at the Theatre of Dreams. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, Cox admitted he wouldn’t be surprised to see Mainoo feature for England at the upcoming European Championship after showing his ability to cope with challenging situations.

“I think Kobbie’s faced up to some really challenging environments so far this season and coped admirably,” Cox said.

“We’ve seen him play against Liverpool at Old Trafford, that’s a ferocious atmosphere always, and he coped really well, and he’s played in some big Champions League games.

“We know he’s got the character to cope.”

Cox urged the Man Utd faithful not to put a heavy burden on the 19-year-old’s shoulders, reminding them he’s still a teenager.

“I think it’s really important we don’t get too carried away,” Cox added. “He’s a young player – he’s got a lot to learn by his own admission.”

Garnacho also graduated from Man Utd’s academy. But unlike Mainoo, he only joined the Red Devils at the age of 16, swapping Atletico Madrid for the famous red jersey. 

Cox spoke of the recruitment process, explaining how the club’s scouts focus on predicting the future potential of players instead of current performances.

“We have a network of scouts looking for young players with high potential,” Cox said.

“Our scouts try to predict where the boys might be able to get in the future, not necessarily how good they are today but how might they improve. 

“We’re looking for young boys with a love of the game, with a great character, with big personalities, with a love of the ball.”

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