Kobbie Mainoo: Most Talented Teenagers in Football After United Star Gets England Call Up

Kobbie Mainoo: Most Talented Teenagers in Football After United Star Gets England Call Up

Martin Moses
updated at March 21, 2024 at 8:56 AM
In this article:
Kobbie Mainoo logo
Manchester United logoMEngland logo
Kendry paez
Independiente del Valle logo--
Claudio Echeverri logo
River Plate logoMArgentina logo
Warren Zaire Emery logo
W.Zaire Emery
Paris Saint Germain U19 logoMFrance logo
Lamine Yamal Nasraoui Ebana logo
FC Barcelona logoFSpain logo
Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa logo
Palmeiras logoFBrazil logo
Pau Cubarsí Paredes logo
Barcelona U19 logoDSpain logo
  • Kobbie Mainoo has been one of the breakout stars of the season
  • The Manchester United midfielder is in line for his first England cap
  • Sports Brief looks at other young players who are set to be future stars

Kobbie Mainoo is in seventh heaven. He is a living testimony that as long as you are talented and good enough, then age is not a factor to feature for a star-studded squad like England's.

Mainoo had already shown glimpses of what he is capable of after becoming a regular for Erik ten Hag this season, but it must have been the calm and composed display against Liverpool on March 17 that convinced Gareth Southgate that he was ripe for senior international action.

Kobbie Mainoo, Manchester United, Wataru Endo, Lamine Yamal, Kendry Paez, Warren Zaire-Emery, Claudio Echeverri, Arda Guler, Pau Cubarsi
Kobbie Mainoo shields the ball from Wataru Endo during Manchester United's game against Liverpool on March 17. Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images.
Source: Getty Images

At only 18 years old, Mainoo is destined for more incredible things. He could earn his first cap this window if Southgate plays him in one of their games against Brazil or Belgium.

The youngster leads a list of talented teenagers who have already settled in at their respective clubs as they seek to lead the future generation of world-class players.

Young talented players to watch out for

Apart from the Man United midfielder, Sports Brief looks at other kids you shouldn't sleep on. The players are part of GOAL's NXGN list of players born after January 1, 2005.

7. Kendry Paez - Independiente del Valle/Chelsea

Kendry Paez is one of the names on the long list of the young players the new ownership has paid a ridiculous amount of money for.

But in him, Chelsea fans are convinced of a player who can be a real asset in their midfield once he gets going. The Ecuadorian will officially join next summer, but he comes aboard with a couple of records already. He is the youngest goal-scorer in South American World Cup qualifier history.

6. Claudio Echeverri - River Plate/ Manchester City

Months after signing Julian Alvarez from River Plate, Manchester City have once again headed south and signed Claudio Echeverri. The defending European champions beat a host of other top clubs to sign the 18-year-old, who will move to England once the season ends.

Echeverri can play on the wing or as a number 10 and will surely be another interesting addition to a Pep Guardiola side, who are starting to look beyond Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva.

5. Pau Cubarsi - Barcelona

Cubarsi is one of the players who have maximised Xavi's affinity to give young players a chance to prove themselves. He has already gotten comparisons to the legendary Gerard Pique, slotting in comfortably at the heart of La Blaugrana's defence.

He was recently named the man of the match in their Champions League tie against Napoli after managing to silence Victor Osimhen for large parts of the game.

4. Warren Zaire-Emery - Paris Saint-Germain

Well, he is no Kylian Mbappe, but the French giants have an exciting talent on their hands. The midfielder has become integral to Luis Enrique's plans in Paris and has since convinced Didier Deschamps to make him a part of Les Bleus squads as well.

In the past, PSG have elected to spend money on other players rather than give their homegrown talents a chance. The 18-year-old will be hoping to become the face of the side with Mbappe expected to depart for Real Madrid.

3. Arda Guler - Real Madrid

Injuries haven't been kind to the Turkish sensation, but there is no doubt in anyone's mind that he is a star in the making.

Florentino Perez paid around €30 million to Fenerbache to secure the services of a player christened the Turkish Messi. The 19-year-old is only returning to full fitness and is expected to be a huge part of Real Madrid's midfield in years to come, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos expected to bow out soon.

2. Endrick - Palmeiras/Real Madrid

When a club of Real Madrid's stature forks out almost €70million (as reported by FIFA) to sign a 16-year-old, then you definitely know that this is no ordinary player for his age.

The Brazilian Ronaldo famously claimed he would have taken Endrick to the 2022 World Cup. The teen will officially join Los Blancos in the summer of 2024, but the excitement is already palpable that the Samba Boys have already gotten a new Neymar even before the original Neymar retires.

1. Lamine Yamal - Barcelona

Lamine Yamal is the latest huge prospect from the famous La Masia Academy. Many have touted him as the heir apparent of Lionel Messi. He holds a couple of records as the youngest player to start or score in Barcelona, La Liga, Champions League and the Spanish national team history.

His coach, Xavi, has called for fans to pipe down the Messi comparisons, but when he scores goals like the one against Mallorca, it becomes hard not to compare him to the greatest number 10 in football's history.

Players who rejected Ghana for England

Back to Mainoo, Sports Brief has also reported on the players who rejected Ghana for England.

His inclusion in Southgate's squad for March friendlies sees him become the latest on that list.

Other players to have done the same are the likes of Eddie Nketiah and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)