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FootballManchester United: Bryan Robson tips Mainoo to excel with England

Manchester United: Bryan Robson tips Mainoo to excel with England

Former England captain Bryan Robson is confident Kobbie Mainoo will adapt swiftly to the demands of international football and would have “no qualms telling Gareth Southgate to pick him”.

Manchester United midfielder Mainoo was yesterday called into the senior squad having originally been named in the Under-21 party and could be in line to make his Three Lions debut in the forthcoming double-header against Brazil and Belgium.

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The 18-year-old has made a huge impression at United this season and Robson, himself a former midfielder at Old Trafford, believes he will be able to make the step up.

Writing in a column in the Daily Mail, Robson said: “Kobbie Mainoo could start for England at the European Championship. He is that good and he is only going to get better.

“I’d have no qualms telling Gareth Southgate to pick him because, despite only being 18, Kobbie has shown nothing but maturity throughout his Manchester United career.

“On Sunday against Liverpool in the FA Cup, some of his movement, his quick feet, his composure… you had to admire him. He was terrific.

“I’d be cautious before saying the sky’s the limit because he can still make improvements, but the great thing with this kid is that he is willing to listen and learn.”

England face Brazil at Wembley on Saturday night before meeting Belgium three days later. After that, the focus will switch to this summer’s European Championship in Germany.

“There are few bigger tests than playing Brazil and Belgium but I believe he can adapt,” added Robson. 

“International football is harder. I know you play against top players every week in the Premier League, but you notice as a player when you make the step up that everyone is better.

“It will be a great help to Kobbie to have the likes of Harry Maguire around him and maybe Luke Shaw down the line, but I see no reason why he can’t stake a claim to start in Germany in June.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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