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Manchester United coach explains three reasons why Kobbie Mainoo is so special



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Manchester United’s U21s player/coach Tom Huddlestone has explained why Kobbie Mainoo has excelled since joining up with United’s first team.

Huddlestone, who joined United in his player/coach role for the U21s back in 2022, has praised Mainoo for displaying several standout qualities.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Huddlestone explained the part the U21s team plays in allowing youth prospects such as Mainoo, Alejandro Garnacho, or Willy Kambwala to move up to the senior squad.

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“We try and work to similar principals that the first team work at,” stated Huddlestone. [It’s] so the lads have that continuity when they do step up and train with the first team.

One member of United’s U21s who has excelled so far this season with the senior squad has been the aforementioned Kobbie Mainoo, who has drawn praise from United fans, and neutrals alike.

Huddlestone, who has both played alongside Mainoo in the middle of the park, as well as extensively coached him, explained what makes the eighteen-year-old so special.

“He [Mainoo] was still eligible to play for the U18s last year but managed to force his way into the U21s,” Explained Huddlestone. “Probably consistently throughout the season, he was one of our top two or three players.

“This season, he has gone with the first team and hasn’t looked back. He probably would have played the first game of the season [against Wolves] if he hadn’t gotten injured in pre-season against Real Madrid.

Huddlestone went on to explain three reasons why he believes Mainoo is such a special talent for his age.

“His decision-making, composure, and his game intelligence that he’s showing at such a young age is brilliant. I think he’s bedded into the [first] team and it looks a smooth transition for him.”

Starting in United’s last five Premier League games, Mainoo has already won a level of trust from first-team manager Erik ten Hag.

Alongside his league starts, Mainoo has also picked up significant gametime in big European ties against Bayern Munich and Galatasaray.