Understanding Kobbie Mainoo’s Status as a Generational Talent

Why does the question of Mainoo as a generational talent arise?

Every season, Manchester United has many youngsters coming up the ranks of the academy and joining the senior team. Amidst the lot, there are often one or two players that shine and stand above the rest. One such youngster is Kobbie Mainoo, who has come up through Manchester United’s academy. Mainoo is naturally a midfielder who played the majority of his career on the defensive side of the midfield, but has occasionally played up the field as a central box-to-box midfielder, as well as an attacking Midfielder.

The original induction of Mainoo in the senior team was last season, where he occasionally made up the matchday squad. All his cameos were marked as the start of something special. His standout feature was his ability to stay calm on the ball as well as how he can manage to stay in control of the ball in tight spaces. His playstyle has frequently been related to Clarence Seedorf, Paul Pogba, etc.

Mainoo was a big part of Manchester United’s pre-season tour before the start of the season where he shone in the midfield against the Gunners. He has an instinct to dictate the flow of the game, which is essential for a player who plays as a defensive midfielder. Whenever he dawns the field, it looks like he is playing ahead of his years which pretty much makes up for why he is one to look for in the future.

Why does Mainoo fill the spot that Manchester United had always been weak post-2013?

After Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure ended in 2013, Manchester United drastically fell off. Many managers came and went, and many players dawned the Red Devils shirt and went. Yet, there always was a spot of weakness in Manchester United’s midfield.

In all of Manchester United’s matches, there always felt a huge gap between the forward and the back lines. It felt as if there was no one to bridge the gap between these two. Initially, Pogba was brought on for this role, but due to various circumstances it did not flourish. Mainoo is that player that Manchester United very much needs.

The 18-year-old has an excellent reading of the game, which makes his play look more flawless. His off the ball movement is also up there along with his other abilities which are not much talked about. Offensively, he can contribute well due to his ability to control the tempo of the game.

When Mainoo starts alongside his Brazilian counterpart, Casemiro, and they are paired up with Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United’s midfield almost looks as good as all other top teams in the premier league. His versatility is what makes Erik ten Hag value him a lot. He excels in seamlessly integrating into the back three, displays ease in receiving the ball as the lone pivot, and also makes valuable contributions when positioned further up the field.

Manchester United always came up short in maintaining a balance between the technical and physical aspects of the midfield, which is why having a player like Mainoo is essential. With all this said, the stage is perfectly set for the young Englishman to strive and prosper.

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  1. Excellent understanding by the author. The technicalities have been brought out lucidly. Enjoyed reading. Now, looking forward to follow the player. God bless the author and the player.


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