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19th Mar 2024

England fans are convinced they will win the Euros with this team after Kobbie Mainoo’s call-up.

Luke Davies

Southgate and Mainoo

England fans are convinced they will win the Euros after Kobbie Mainoo was called up to the squad.

The 18-year-old was set to represent Lee Carsley’s Under-21 outfit. However, he has impressed Gareth Southgate enough to be called up to the senior squad for the first time.

With the addition the England boss now has an array of midfielders to choose from. Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson are favourites of Southgate but Mainoo’s fearlessness may come into play this summer.

Former England international Ian Wright, heaped praise on the youngster after Manchester United’s 4-3 win over Liverpool last Sunday: “Such maturity in chaotic conditions that we’ve not seen from an England player in a long time. Impressed every time I watch him.”

For some Mainoo has been a surprise but welcome addition to the squad, but his childhood coach has known of his potential for many years, saying: “It was quite obvious when Kobbie came down that he was strong, quick, good with the ball at his feet.

“I had to try and challenge him by loading the teams up so all the better kids were on the other team to make it a challenge for him. I then started to play him against the older boys, to challenge him.

“At that age, he was already very quick. He used to accelerate really quickly with the ball and go past players. He was strong. He was wiry. He was hard to knock off the ball. At that age, it is kick-and-run football but he used to keep it very close to his feet. He used to weave in and out of cones and challenges where the ball is stuck to his feet.

“You would have kids where they would just boot the ball or weren’t that interested in the coaching element, just playing matches. Kobbie was always keen to listen and learn.

“You just knew you had to put the better players on the opposing team to try and challenge him. He would walk through teams, scoring six or seven goals.

“We used to give a man-of-the-match award at the end of every session. You could have given it to him every week. You had to give it to the most improved player rather than him dominating all the time.”

Three-Lions’ fans were delighted with the news with several taking to X to express their feelings.

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