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Their candidate, the Red Devils, promotes their young star for the national team

By Angus Barnes

Their candidate, the Red Devils, promotes their young star for the national team

Kobbie Mainoo is being touted for an England call-up ahead of Euro 2024.

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No decision in English football is scrutinised more than the national team squad announcement ahead of a major tournament. With a little over four months to go, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate will soon be putting the finishing touches to his plans for the 2024 European Championship in Germany. While the likes of Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are automatic picks, there are countless players whose prospects of boarding the plane are less clear-cut.

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Within that category is Manchester United youngster Kobbie Mainoo. Despite only being 1 and still in pursuit of his first senior cap for England, an increasing number of Three Lions supporters particularly those of a United persuasion, believe he should be on the plane to Germany.

Though he has only made 16 first-team appearances for United, you would not have thought so based on his recent performances. He has excelled alongside Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro in what has become the Reds' strongest midfield in recent weeks. The return of Casemiro has allowed Mainoo to raise his game even further. In the Brazilian's absence, the United academy graduate was acting as the sole anchor at the base of the midfield, whereas now he is being allowed to get forward that little bit more and express himself.

Though Mainoo, who scored his first Premier League goal in dramatic fashion at Molineux a little over a week ago, has demonstrated he is capable as operating as a No.6, controlling possession from deep and then moving the ball on to more advanced midfield operators, he is a modern-day No.8. A player who wants to operate between the lines and progress the ball and himself up the pitch. His last-gasp heroics at Molineux highlighted that he is not afraid to get into the penalty area and take aim. His goal was all his own making, demonstrating he is a progressive, forward-thinking player, who is not afraid to venture forward and take risks.

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His improvement in England

That progressive style of play could provide England with the extra sprinkling of magic they have been missing in the engine room. Ahead of this summer's tournament in Germany, Rice and Bellingham are guaranteed to take two of three places available in Southgate's trademark three-man midfield system. Rice has often been one of two defensive-midfielders employed by Southgate, with Kalvin Phillips regularly supporting him, while Bellingham has been allowed to pull the strings and get forward in support of the attackers. Bellingham is England's shining star and will be central to their hopes of success for several years to come.


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