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Gareth Southgate insists he won’t hesitate to start “incredibly mature” Kobbie Mainoo at Euro 2024

Gareth Southgate insists he won’t hesitate to start “incredibly mature” Kobbie Mainoo at Euro 2024
Gareth Southgate insists he won’t hesitate to start “incredibly mature” Kobbie Mainoo at Euro 2024


England boss Gareth Southgate has said that he won’t at all think twice about starting Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo at Euro 2024.

During a tumultuous and extremely underwhelming 2023/24 season for United, Mainoo was one of the side’s beacons of hope.

The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough campaign that saw him make 32 appearances across all competitions. In that period, young Mainoo managed five goals and one assist. He scored in the FA Cup final as United beat Manchester City at Wembley to win the domestic competition.

Alongside Luke Shaw, Mainoo was the only other United player to be included in Southgate’s final 26-man squad for Euro 2024.

As England played out a friendly against Iceland on Friday, the Carrington academy graduate played all 90 minutes as he slotted in the midfield pivot alongside Arsenal’s Declan Rice.

Mainoo registered 75 touches of the ball, an individual pass completion rate of 89% and won four of the six ground duels he delved into. He produced yet another impressive display despite the Three Lions suffering a shock 1-0 defeat.

(Stats obtained from Sofascore)

England kick off their Euro 2024 campaign in about a week when they face Serbia in their opening clash of the group stage and according to Southgate, Mainoo is firmly in contention to start in the middle of the park.

Southgate told Channel 4 (via The Daily Mail), “We wouldn’t have any hesitation in starting him.”

“He’s shown incredible maturity, he progresses the ball forward quickly. He had two fabulous appearances here in March.

Southgate also opened up on the booing he and his players were subjected to by the fans after their pitiful display vs. Iceland.

The 53-year-old remarked, “I completely understand (the boos). We didn’t play well enough to keep them excited within the game.”

“We had some very, very good chances which normally would be finished which could have given a different complexion to the game and of course would have affected the confidence of the opponent.”

“But that would have masked some flaws that were apparent tonight. From my perspective, I’ve learned a lot from the game.”

He urged his players not to be complacent as they’ll need to be fully focused in order to do well in the upcoming tournament.



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