Manchester United won the Carabao Cup against Newcastle 2-0 on Sunday, finally putting an end to a wretched six-year run without any silverware.
Erik ten Hag’s men were clinical on the night whilst being brave defensively, as the Red Devils ran out comfortable winners at Wembley.
The Dutch manager was seen joining in the wild celebrations that would follow the referee’s final whistle, his unusual dance routine with summer signings Antony and Lisandro Martinez blowing up the internet for good.
Amidst all the chaos, Ten Hag was also seen chatting with young teenage prodigy Kobbie Mainoo.
Erik ten Hag speaking with 17-year-old midfielder Kobbie Mainoo after winning the Carabao Cup.
Coaching his players even after a cup final win ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Fu6khz9NEq
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 26, 2023
Mainoo is a prospect who has been making waves in United’s academy for a while now, and many at the club have marked him out as one for the future.
The 17-year-old has had a breakthrough season this term, recently making his league debut after coming on to replace Marcel Sabitzer for the final few minutes during the 3-0 win against Leicester City last week.
A versatile player who can play as a six or as an 8, Mainoo has an eye for a pass and is not afraid to get into a tackle.
Barring his solitary league appearance against the Foxes, the current England U-18s international has also managed a handful of appearances in multiple cup competitions for the Red Devils.
The fact that the Ten Hag took the time to speak with Mainoo after such a high-pressure game, a final no less, shows that he sees potential in the young player and is willing to invest in his development.
For United fans, this is a sign of hope for the future.
The club has always had a rich and proud history of producing homegrown talent, and Mainoo could be the next great player to come out of Carrington.
If he does manage to fulfil his burgeoning potential, Erik ten Hag would have played a key role in said development.
The future looks very bright for both the club and the player.