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Gareth Southgate has sent “clear message” with Kobbie Mainoo England call-up, says pundits



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Credit: England

Ex-Premier League players Gary Lineker, Micah Richards and Alan Shearer have claimed Kobbie Mainoo’s recent perfomances have sent a message to Gareth Souhtgate.

With the Premier League heading into an international break, it had initially been decided that Mainoo would get called up to the England U21s.

However, following United’s 4-3 win against Liverpool on Sunday, news broke early Tuesday afternoon that England manager Southgate had decided to call Mainoo up to the senior squad for this break’s round of friendlies.

News of Mainoo’s call-up to Southgate’s squad breaks the same day that the Daily Star claimed that the England manager is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s top choice to succeed Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.

Speaking on their The Rest is Football podcast, Richards, Lineker and Shearer discussed Mainno’s performance against Liverpool, as well as how he has positioned himself to be in Southgate’s Euro 2024 squad.

“He just gets better and better and better,” Richards asserted. “We sort of analysed him when he first played for Man United and we talked about how calm he was on the ball, but it’s not just that. He runs forward, he’s got great feet, his passing range looks good.

“I think he’s still got work to do on the tactical side of things in terms of protecting his back four a little bit more. But what a performance that was from him. He was amazing today, he really was.” 

With the episode recorded on Sunday night, it was filmed ahead of the news that Mainoo had been called up by Southgate to the England squad.

Discussing his initial snub, Lineker and co stated that Mainoo’s performance against Liverpool was a message to Southgate showing that he cannot afford to be overlooked.

“He didn’t make the England squad. But, I mean, he’s sending another message there, isn’t he? To Gareth Southgate. I mean.. there’s still time.” Stated Lineker.

“That’s all he can do. That’s all he can do is keep on performing like that,” Added Shearer. “[There was] Probably a little bit of disappointment that he wasn’t in there, but keep performing like that, it’s inevitable, it’s only a matter of time.”

“Well, at his age as well, obviously his time will come,” Noted Lineker. “He’s got bags of time ahead of him, and even if he was in the squad for the Euros, it’d probably be more for perhaps experience around the players than anything else.

“He’s got to be a star of the future. Obviously, you can never say [for sure] with young players, things can go wrong, things can go wrong off the field, you can get injuries. But given a fair run and I suspect he’s got a really good attitude, then the sky’s the limit isn’t it?”