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Jonny Evans recalls Kobbie Mainoo conversation with Man Utd kitman and biggest attribute



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Credit: TNT Sports

Jonny Evans has recalled a conversation he had with Manchester United’s kitman about Kobbie Mainoo at the start of the season.

Evans, 36, rejoined United last summer on a one-year contract. He came from the youth academy at the club and left for West Brom in 2014.

The experienced central defender has played a bigger role under Erik ten Hag than he expected. He has made 14 starts this term, including games against Manchester City and Liverpool.

He had originally re-signed on a short-term deal for the pre-season campaign to keep his fitness and help out the young players around the squad.

When Evans returned to Carrington back in the summer, one player in particular stood out to him.

Kobbie [Mainoo], as well, my first training session back here, I came in, and the first thing I said to the kit man was, ‘Who is that young lad’. You could just tell,” he explained when speaking to his former United teammate Rio Ferdinand on TNT Sports.

“I’m sure a lot of people saw that in him. He’s a top player.”

Mainoo has emerged as a consistent first-team player this season and has started the last 12 Premier League fixtures in a row.

However, before the start of the season, many supporters were unaware of the talented teenager. He made a lasting impression on the pre-season tour before suffering an injury that would keep him out of action until November.

Recalling that first training session alongside Mainoo, Evans explained how the midfielder would always scan and play with his head up, making things harder for the defenders.

“In the session we were playing, he was playing with his head up. As a defender, as soon as a midfielder gets his head up, you’re in trouble. That was one of the first things I noticed about him,” added Evans.