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“This guy is a joke…” – Two Premier League players agree on ‘frightening’ Man United star



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Premier League stars Tom Cairney and Michail Antonio have heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo during a recent media appearance.

Speaking on The Players Channel podcast recently, both Cairney and Antonio were quick to praise Mainoo, with the former admitting that the young Englishman is, “ripping it up this season.”

Mainoo, 18, has had a monumental rise this season. Picking up his first Premier League start back in November against Everton, the teenager now looks all but guaranteed to be heading to Euro 2024 as part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad.

Speaking on the podcast about Mainoo’s recent goal against Liverpool, Cairney remarked the following about United’s teenage sensation.

“You know what though, that goal from Kobbie Mainoo. Wow. Like what a goal, what a moment for that kid. man, he’s absolutely ripping it up this season,” he said.

Cairney’s praise would lead Premier League stalwart Antonio to agree, continuing to praise Mainoo. In this, he highlighted the young midfielders’ rise from relative to unknown to one of the first names on Erik ten Hag’s teamsheet.

“He is frightening. He is actually frightening,” Antonio remarked. “The craziest thing is when they came to us at the beginning of the season [London Stadium in December], I looked at the team and I was like ‘huh, I don’t really know many of these players.’

“But then obviously when he played against us, I was like ‘this kid is something special’, but then I was like ‘where have they signed him from?’, ‘They have to have signed him man, ’cause this guy is a joke.’

“Then obviously he came through the academy, and I was like ‘nah this kid is something else.’”

The real evidence of how much Ten Hag now relies on Mainoo is in his minutes played.

Despite only making his first appearance for the season in November, Mainoo has now played the third most minutes of any of Manchester United’s midfielders so far this season.

Only behind Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes, Mainoo has played just 221 minutes less than McTominay, despite playing in 10 fewer matches. He has also been relied on to see out games consistently of late, with other midfielders substituted in his place.