Ten quotes that show how Mainoo has impressed

Thursday 30 May 2024 14:47

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has made quite the impression across a breakout 2023/24 campaign in Erik ten Hag’s first-team side.

The 19-year-old was unfortunate to pick up a pre-season injury that delayed the beginning of his term, but after making his first Premier League start away to Everton in November, he has never looked back.

Mainoo has become a regular in Ten Hag’s XI and was rewarded for his performances at club level with a first senior England call-up in March, prior to being included in the Three Lions’ provisional squad for this summer’s European Championship.

The latter selection came days before his Man-of-the-Match-winning display in last weekend’s FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, where he, of course, scored our decisive goal against City.

Mainoo's goals in 2023/24 Video

Mainoo's goals in 2023/24

Relive all five of Kobbie Mainoo's goals in a breakout season for the Academy star...

The trajectory around Kobbie’s season has naturally generated plenty of excitement about his future and, while it is always worth exercising caution around bigging up a young player that is looking to make his way in the game, some of the insights and quotes from past and present players and staff at United have made for fascinating reading this term.

Here, we have picked out 10 of our favourites about the Stockport-born Academy graduate, who seems to be taking everything in his stride…

Speaking to BBC Sport after the Emirates FA Cup final.

"It was really incredible to watch Kobbie at his age. We wanted to bring him [through] and in the second game of the [pre-]season [tour] he got an injury. It then took him so long to get back to fitness. I think we have to keep it calm because here in England we do so much in pushing young players high and then hammer them when they have one or two bad performances."

Speaking to BBC Sport after the Emirates FA Cup final.

“He's really good. He's such a quality player. You see the composure that he had in the finishing. But part of the DNA of this club is the young players who come through the Academy on to the biggest stage in the world. They showed it again.”

Speaking on Instagram after the Emirates FA Cup final.

"Read a few comparisons between me and this kid last week... don't waste your time, he is 10 times the player I was at 19. Just love the way he receives the ball, the calmness, the awareness of what's around him and of course big goals in big games. This boy is special... and he's a f***ing Red."

Goal of the Month vote open


Four strikes netted in finals feature among our nine contenders for May’s prize – see the full list here.

Speaking in Kobbie Mainoo: Playing with Freedom.

“He's always been driven, always had a desire to want to be better, always made sure that he's taken every opportunity to learn. He's doing great things, but he will tell you as much as anybody that this is early days, and he knows that he's got more landmarks to tick off. Yes, he started a lot of games. He had a nice run in the team. He scored some goals, but he knows that he wants to be on the team sheet every week. And he knows in his mind all the things he wants to go and achieve. And that will take hard work, but he won't be afraid of that hard work.”

Speaking to external media.

“I think he’s a really relaxed player, he’s composed and confident in his abilities. I think it’s vital, to be a midfielder for United you have to want the ball all the time and you have to be able to have the skillset and the abilities that he has in order to play in the highest level of games. To be honest, that’s not the bits that surprise me about him, it’s just his general aura. I think that’s what makes him a little bit different to the players in the country, not just Man United. He takes the biggest moments in his stride, and nothing seems to faze him.”

United Quiz: Kobbie Mainoo


How much do you know about the man we call Kobs? Test your knowledge with five quick questions.

Speaking in April’s edition of Inside United.

“For those of us who work with him, it’s been no surprise to see him scoring and playing really well in games. I think we have a complete player in Kobbie – aggressive, looks after the ball, a player who wants the ball. I would say that if Kobbie continues the way he’s going with this mentality, continues training hard and doing things right, Manchester United have a great player for the next 15 years.”

Speaking to MUTV in San Diego recently.

“I'm really impressed with Kobbie. Of course I haven't seen much of him before, but he looks like he's been playing for the club for longer than [he has]. [In his] first games for United he already looks so mature. He looks like a player. With the ball, without the ball [he’s] focused. [He’s got a] bright future ahead. Bruno [Fernandes] tells me he's also a great kid. He listens. He wants to learn. He's humble. So, he has everything to succeed.”

Speaking in Victor Lindelof | Team Player.

“He’s a fantastic player and a very, very smart young player. You know, he's got the right mentality. I think the best thing for him is just stay calm and listen to obviously the older players and try to learn as much as possible and pick up a few things. But then as well, just be yourself and express yourself on the pitch. That's the most important thing. And that's why he's at this stage as well, because he's done that throughout his career so far, and I think it's super important as well to just let him develop naturally. Obviously, he's very, very young, but if he can just keep doing the things he's doing on the pitch right now, I think he's going to be a fantastic, fantastic player in the future as well.”


Speaking on TeamViewer Diaries.

“I'm very impressed. Luckily, I've seen him in training and I've seen him [from] close by. I really like what I see. I mean, he's an exceptional player. He’s still a very young lad, but he's doing really well, and he's getting his spot in the team.”

Speaking on MUTV’s The Debate.

“We have to praise him because of how well he’s doing. If you look at Kobbie, he looks like the sort of character that can handle it [the pressure]. He’s here to play football, the calmness that he shows. He gets the ball, he plays forward, I think that’s very important.”