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Liverpool legend states deluded Kobbie Mainoo opinion ahead of England call-up



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Liverpool legend John Barnes has questioned whether Kobbie Mainoo is playing “that well” considering Manchester United are not in the Premier League’s top four.

Manchester United have had a thoroughly underwhelming season. The club has been out of all European competition and the Carabao Cup and is sitting sixth in the Premier League table.

The FA Cup is the only trophy the club have left to fight for this season. However, one bright spark of 2024 has been the emergence of Kobbie Mainoo, who has become a regular starter under Erik ten Hag, aged just 18.

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However, surrounding Mainoo’s call-up to the England U21s rather than the first team, Liverpool legendary striker John Barnes has questioned if Mainoo has been as good as people are claiming as United is not in the top four.

“Should Mainoo be playing for England? Why don’t we give him time to develop? He’s playing in a team that’s not even in the top five or four.”

“United aren’t playing particularly well, so why are we going to put pressure on him? If he was playing that well, wouldn’t United be in the top four or five and they’re not.

“So I’m not going to get carried away because he’s playing well and having a good breakthrough season. He is playing very well, but as with all young players, let them develop slowly, and he’ll get his rewards later on.”

This, of course, is a deluded take that may be seen though tinted glasses as United are a huge rival of Barnes and Liverpool. Anyone who has watched United this season can see that Mainoo has been a huge part of lifting the side out of the gutter they found themselves in towards the end of 2023.

Without Mainoo, Ten Hag’s midfield would have looked even more disjointed and exposed. Although staying away from the England senior squad may be the better option as it gives him time to continue to develop his trade, claiming that he does not deserve a spot purely based on recent performances is far from true.