Erik Ten Hag Told to Make Kobbie Mainoo a Regular Starter at Manchester United

Erik Ten Hag Told to Make Kobbie Mainoo a Regular Starter at Manchester United

Rene Otinga
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
UEFA Champions League logo
  • Kobbie Mainoo made an appearance from the bench against Galatasaray
  • The 18-year-old earned plaudits thanks to his incredible composure on the ball
  • One Man United legend believes the youngster needs more game time

Erik ten Hag has been told to make Kobbie Mainoo a regular starter at Manchester United amid the 18-year-old’s recent impressive performances for the club.

Mainoo initially caught the eye of fans and pundits when he was handed a first start in United’s 3-0 win over Everton.

Days later, however, he came off the bench as Manchester United played out to a classic 3-3 draw against Galatasaray.

Kobbie Mainoo
Kobbie Mainoo in action during the UEFA Champions League match between Galatasaray A.S. and Manchester United at Ali Sami Yen Arena on November 29, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Ash Donelon
Source: Getty Images

United were two goals to the good but were pegged back twice by a resurgent Galatasaray, and it was clear to see ten Hag’s men struggled to contain the hosts in Turkey.

According to BBC, it was the second time in the Champions League this season that the Red Devils let a two-goal lead slip the first being in the 4-3 defeat to Copenhagen.

“Mainoo needs to start more”

According to Manchester United legend Paul Scholes, ten Hag needs to integrate Mainoo into the starting XI to give his side a chance, especially in midfield.

"I think Mainoo needs a run in the team. And from what we saw at Everton on Sunday, I think now it’s time to give him a chance," he said on TNT Sports.

Scholes went on to claim United’s back four was overly exposed, and Mainoo was a player that could potentially offer more protection.

He added: 'This back four, they need protecting. No one senses danger as much as this young lad.”

"I can half understand why because he has not played a lot of football. The lad has been injured in pre-season and it was possibly only his third game back on Sunday, a couple of reserve team games, so you can understand why he has gone for a little bit of experience in Amrabat.

"He will have Mainoo on the bench. He is not scared to go to the bench; he has changed his team a lot at half-time."

Can Man United still qualify

With one group game to go, fate is out of Manchester United's hands as far as qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League is concerned.

United will have to beat already-qualified Bayern Munich on December 12 but also hope that Galatasaray draws with Copenhagen in the other game for a chance to proceed to the knockout stages.

The Red Devils are at the bottom of their group with four points. Copenhagen sits in second place with five points, while Galatasaray also has five points but with an inferior goal difference.

Garnacho does Calma celebration

Sports Brief also reported how Alejandro Garnacho wound up Galatasaray fans with his goal celebration on Wednesday.

Fresh from scoring a stunning goal against Everton over the weekend, Garnacho was in the starting XI as Manchester United came up against Galatasaray in the Champions League.

United didn’t take long to establish a lead on Wednesday, November 29, as Garnacho found space inside the box and fired a fierce shot past goalkeeper Fernando Muslera for his first Champions League goal after some good work from Scot McTominay.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and
Erik Ten Haag