Ten Hag: What Mainoo brings to our midfield

Friday 01 December 2023 13:30

Erik ten Hag gave a detailed explanation as to how Kobbie Mainoo contributes to Manchester United's midfield when he was asked about the 18-year-old in his press conference on Friday.

The boss was previewing Saturday's trip to face Newcastle United and fielded questions on the Magpies, Andre Onana and more.

But one topic that stood out was the manager's admiration of Mainoo, who made his Premier League debut for the Reds in last weekend's 3-0 triumph at Everton and also came off the bench against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Erik explained why Kobbie started at Goodison Park, and gave the reasoning behind the midfielder's substitute role in Istanbul.

Part one: Press conference v Newcastle Video

Part one: Press conference v Newcastle

Press conference | Ten Hag discusses Kobbie Mainoo, Andre Onana, Newcastle's threat and more...

''[It was about] if he is ready or not and he showed on Sunday he was ready," began the Dutchman.

"Then we have to manage three games in six days to get the best results in all of those games. We have more than 11 players and we have good options there, like Sofyan [Amrabat], who also showed [that] as he played a very good game.

"We have many options but we have to manage the load of the players. It is also about freshness [as to why Mainoo was on the bench in midweek] as well.'

When pressed on exactly what the Academy graduate brings to his midfield, Erik said: "His scanning. It always looks like he has time.

"Because of his scanning, he is running free and then scanning to see the options and then make the right decisions.

"He can delay, he can speed up and he makes the right decisions.''

Kobbie could be in the Reds' starting XI once more on Saturday at St. James' Park. Make your line-up prediction here now.