Kobbie Mainoo and Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen hails 'exceptional' Mainoo

Friday 05 January 2024 16:00

Christian Eriksen has been impressed by Kobbie Mainoo’s rise to regular first-team football at Manchester United this season.

Mainoo has recovered well from a significant injury setback in the summer, establishing himself in Erik ten Hag’s XI in the latter months of 2023.

The 18-year-old Academy graduate and FA Youth Cup winner has not looked fazed by the demands of Premier League action, particularly standing out with his performances in the engine room during victories over Everton and Aston Villa.

Eriksen, who has recently returned from a lay-off himself, isn’t surprised by how his fellow midfielder has adapted, from the day-to-day at Carrington to the big occasions at Old Trafford and elsewhere.

“I'm very impressed,” said Christian. “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.”

Eriksen knows all about what it takes to stand out as an 18-year-old.

He was the youngest player at the 2010 World Cup, having been selected in the squad for South Africa on the back of a strong first half-season of senior football at Ajax.

Christian’s advice to Kobbie, who doesn’t turn 19 until April, is just to keep maintaining his progress as United look to climb up the table in the second part of the season.

Eriksen played at the 2010 World Cup after just 21 senior games for Ajax.

“Just like what he's doing: being available for training and showing his qualities in the game, which he has done.

“Then obviously it's up to the manager to choose and to play him and get his confidence from there.

“But I think at the moment and how he’s behaved in the first team around us has been really good. “I think he's in a good spot.”

Christian was speaking to TeamViewer Diaries - watch all episodes here.