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Kobbie Mainoo tells Man United his favourite role, Erik ten Hag must make adjustment



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Credit: England/Sky

Kobbie Mainoo has told Manchester United his favourite role in the midfield and Erik ten Hag needs to make an adjustment next season.

Mainoo, 19, had an excellent debut campaign at United last season and ended it with a winning goal in the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

The teenager’s ability and maturity on the ball were crucial for Erik ten Hag’s side, and his form led to his selection for England’s squad for Euro 2024.

He made his competitive debut for the Three Lions on Sunday evening during England’s opening game victory against Serbia and could feature once again against Denmark on Thursday.

“I’m ready to play, whether that’s off the bench or starting,” Mainoo told journalists. “Obviously, there are other great midfielders in the squad, like Jude [Bellingham]. I’m trying to train hard and be ready when I’m called upon.”

Growing up, Mainoo was a striker but moved into the midfield before he emerged onto the scene at Carrington. He has explained why he changed positions and why he ‘loves’ one specific role in the midfield.

“It was more because I was getting frustrated as a striker,” he explained. “I wasn’t getting the ball a lot, I love to have the ball. it was more natural to move back and play 10. I love it.”

Of course, he has moved even further back from the no.10 position since then and is regularly operating in the midfield pivot at Old Trafford. However, his love for being on the ball is something that United and Ten Hag must consider going into next season.

Mainoo was often paired with Casemiro last season and despite his comfortability on the ball, he was usually positioned higher than the Brazilian and getting less of the ball.

Next term, the club are aiming to sign a new partner for the young midfielder, and they should be looking to ensure that Mainoo can play his best game – by getting on the ball – rather than being positioned higher up the pitch.

On the other hand, he does have the abilities to make a difference in those moments, like for his winning goal against Wolves, but Ten Hag should also look to find a balance to get the best of his press resistance as the progressive midfielder.

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