Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said that Kobbie Mainoo is ready to face Galatasaray in Wednesday’s Champions League group stage clash at Rams Park.
The Red Devils registered a 3-0 victory over Everton in the Premier League over the weekend. It was their first league win this season with a margin of more than one goal.
Mainoo was handed his full Premier League debut for the club in the same game. The teenager was one of the stand-out performers, making a crucial goal-line clearance.
Speaking in today’s press conference, Ten Hag was asked whether Mainoo might start again and the Dutchman responded in the affirmative by saying (via Manutd.com):
“If they are good enough, they are old enough. We are very pleased with the performance [at Everton], but it’s one performance and you have to do it on a consistent base.”
“Kobbie is so mature, [but] you are only good as your last game. Keep your focus on the game. You have to focus on your game, your performance and get the right levels in.
“When we observe, if a player is moving away from football and getting distracted, we will tell them.”
Mainoo set to start in holding midfield vs Galatasaray
The teenager had a brilliant start to pre-season with United. He was fantastic in the 2-0 win over Arsenal. He made an assist, won 100% of his duels and had a passing accuracy of 95 per cent.
Mainoo was rewarded with another start versus Real Madrid, but he lasted for just two minutes before suffering a freak knee injury which resulted from Casemiro’s push on Rodrygo.
As a result, the United graduate was ruled out for months but he has returned in time for the festive schedule. Mainoo delivered a fantastic showing against the Toffees last weekend.
He won five duels and was also influential in the box, blocking one shot and making a goalline clearance. In our view, he has earned the right to start in the upcoming game in Istanbul.
As Ten Hag said, Mainoo needs to be focused on his job ahead. If he can deliver another top showing, he stands a good chance of establishing himself as a regular defensive midfielder.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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