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England’s full statement on Kobbie Mainoo call-up has surprising detail no one has noticed



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Credit: England

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England senior team after initially being placed in the Under-21s squad.

Mainoo, 18, has been having an unbelievable breakout season for Manchester United and he was again impressive during the FA Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool on Sunday.

The teenage midfielder could offer Gareth Southgate a very interesting solution to the third midfielder spot in the Three Lions team, with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham as the guaranteed starters right now.

However, it was only last week that the England manager stated that he wanted to allow Mainoo to have “space to develop” and that he had not reached a level of game-time that similar talents had done before their England debuts.

“I think that he’s doing brilliantly for a young player and we’re never slow to put a young player into seniors. But he’s only had a handful of games and you have to be very careful development-wise in making those decisions at the right time,” he said.

“So we think ideally, we should allow him that space to develop at his own speed. He’s not at the point in terms of number of games that Jude [Bellingham] and Bukayo [Saka] were when they came in for the first time. But I repeat: he’s doing really well for a young player. He’s a good footballer — you can see that. And he’s getting some fabulous experience with Manchester United at the moment. And he looks a really good character.”

Just days later, Southgate has introduced Mainoo to the senior squad and the full statement has interesting detail that is not often the case in these call-ups.

The national team have confirmed that all existing 25 squad members have reported to St. George’s Park. There is no indication of an injury for Mainoo to replace another player as is usual in call-ups from the Under-21s squad.

Instead, it almost seems like Southgate has realised a mistake – this is the last international break before pre-Euro 2024 games and testing Mainoo now could be an important move for the England manager.

The full statement read: “Kobbie Mainoo has received his first call up to the England men’s senior squad.

“The 18 year old was initially part of the MU21s squad but has been drafted into Gareth Southgate’s group.

“All other 25 players reported to St. George’s Park on Tuesday ahead of the forthcoming internationals against Brazil and Belgium.

“Manchester United midfielder Mainoo has previously represented England at MU17 through to MU19 level.”

Mainoo will be one of few players that have forced their way into an England camp in such a way. A big congratulations to the United midfielder, and we’ll be excited to see him in action over the next two weeks.