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Man United icon dismisses Kobbie Mainoo comparisons – he is like two Barcelona legends



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Kobbie Mainoo has been likened a lot to Paul Pogba at Manchester United, but Louis Saha believes that he is instead more like two Barcelona legends.

Manchester United have a lot to thank Kobbie Mainoo for this season after his meteoric rise to stardom has helped Erik ten Hag‘s men settle into a better rhythm in 2024, despite the poor occasional loss.

Mainoo recently made his debut for England at just 18 years of age during a 1-0 loss against Brazil at Wembley Stadium and is now in contention to make their squad for the 2024 European Championships.

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Throughout his time in United’s academy, Mainoo was often compared to former Reds midfielder Paul Pogba, who was known for his ability to pass and dribble with ease at United—but club icon Louis Saha believes that these are not quality comparisons.

Instead, Saha chose to compare Mainoo to two Barcelona legends, Xavi Hernández and Sergio Busquets, due to his on-the-ball abilities.

“Yes, I hope so,” Saha told BetFred when asked whether he believes Kobbie Mainoo has the potential to become one of the Premier League’s very best midfielders in the coming years.

“There are good signs that this could be the case, but he still needs to improve physically. On the ball, he’s got a bit of a mix of Xavi [Hernández] and Sergio Busquets about him when he goes forward, but he doesn’t necessarily have the body of a Marouane Fellaini or Paul Pogba. 

“Kobbie has shown that he can play well consistently, and people can play around him, so it’s very good to have a player of his talent, and he’s capable of playing under pressure and providing the wingers with the opportunity to compete in one-on-one situations. Hopefully, he can continue to improve over the next few years.”

Mainoo is set to make his first England start on Tuesday night as England welcome Belgium to Wembley Stadium due to Jordan Henderson’s recent injury.