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“I always tell him…” – Casemiro reveals Kobbie Mainoo conversation amid England and Ghana conflict



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Casemiro has praised fellow Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo and revealed a conversation that he regularly has with the teenager.

Mainoo, 18, has emerged as one of Erik ten Hag’s most important players this season despite only making his full Premier League debut in November.

He has since started 11 league fixtures, with the only loss in the last seven being against Nottingham Forest, where he was controversially brought off at half-time.

In the last four games, the 18-year-old has lined up alongside Casemiro in the engine room. The Brazilian returned from injury towards the end of last month, and United have been unbeaten since then.

The former Real Madrid midfielder has been extremely impressed by his teenage partner, who scored a crucial last-minute winner against Wolves earlier this month.

“He’s a top player,” said Casemiro. “He’s exceptional. He’s a humble, hard-working player. He knows how to listen. He’s a great player.”

However, the five-time Champions League winner has stated the importance of working hard to match the talent you have and has explained that this is something he regularly speaks to Mainoo about.

“Obviously, it’s a long and tough journey,” the Brazil captain added. “I always try to tell him this: that things aren’t easy, that you always have to work hard. You always need to want more and more. That’s what football is.

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“But you can tell he has his head on straight. He’s a great player. Without a doubt, we’ll have a great player on our side for a long time.”

The teenager’s form has attracted international interest from Ghana in recent weeks, who provided a statement on the talented academy star. England and Gareth Southgate are desperate for Mainoo to remain with the Three Lions, who he has represented at various youth levels, and are planning to include him in an upcoming Under-21s squad.

Many believe that Mainoo’s development will benefit from playing alongside the experienced midfielder. Whilst Casemiro admits that he offers the young midfielder advice off the field, he also believes that providing an example is the best thing he can offer to the young players like Mainoo.

“Obviously, you always try to give tips, and talk about your experience, but I always say that actions offer the best experience,” continued Casemiro.

“The examples you set and your actions, on and off the pitch, are the most important things. That’s what I always try to tell them.

“I try to be a role model for them – on and off the pitch.”