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Gary Neville admits opinion change surrounding Erik ten Hag’s Kobbie Mainoo transfer plan



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Credit: Sky Sports

Gary Neville has admitted that he has changed his mind surrounding Erik ten Hag’s transfer plan last summer following the emergence of Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United this season.

Kobbie Mainoo has been nothing short of a revelation since he was introduced into the Manchester United first team – but his breakthrough season was put on an initial delay after a pre-season injury.

Erik ten Hag, who handed Mainoo his senior debut in January of last year, has been aware of the English midfielder’s raw talent, but after a few starts in pre-season, Mainoo suffered a long-term ankle injury that kept him out of the squad until the end of November, but he has been a mainstay ever since.

Read More: Manchester United send Man City dig amid Kobbie Mainoo rejection report

Mainoo has been increasing his impact on the squad in the last two months, recently scoring a fantastic winning goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers, and started as United won 3-0 against West Ham on Sunday afternoon thanks to goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Rasmus Højlund.

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the West Ham tie, Gary Neville revealed that he initially questioned Erik ten Hag’s lack of urgency for a midfield signing in the summer before Mainoo’s injury.

“To be fair to Erik ten Hag, I made an inquiry in the summer transfer window when it was obvious United were short in midfield as I thinking: ‘who they were going to sign?’.

“I mentioned Amrabat at the time, there were others that are obviously linked, and they (the club) said that if Mainoo hadn’t have got injured at that point, they wouldn’t have signed anybody.

“The fact he got injured, they then brought Amrabat in, but the faith was there obviously early in pre-season that they knew this lad was going to be a star.

“I mean, his first three games for United in the Premier League were at Goodison Park, St James’ Park and Anfield. He’s proved already he’s not just got the quality, he’s got the temperament to play in big matches. He’s been fantastic.