Manchester United’s season could be unsalvageable if they exit the Champions League next week after already crashing out of the Carabao Cup after a 0-3 loss at the hands of Newcastle United.
The chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League already look slim and manager Erik ten Hag is under increasing pressure to turn around the fortunes of the team.
Things could have looked a lot different if the injury toll was less as multiple key players have suffered long-term injuries which have forced the manager into constantly rejigging the team which has not allowed for any real momentum.
Mainoo destined for the top
One player whose absence necessitated a change of plans was Kobbie Mainoo who was tipped for a breakthrough season after some promising displays during pre-season.
However, a freak injury against Real Madrid has seen him miss almost three months of action at at time when the team was crying out for a midfield presence that the academy graduate possesses.
His display during the EFL Trophy against Salford this past week was a reminder of his undoubted talents, as he almost glided across the pitch while picking the right pass each time and looking like he has extra time on his side.
Former United star Anthony Elanga even claimed the 18-year-old is similar to World Cup winner and former United midfielder Paul Pogba who was always elegant with the ball at his feet.
Ten Hag, who gave Mainoo his debut last season, has major plans for him this season but it remains to be seen if he will be involved in the game against Fulham.
The England U19 international was on the bench during the Manchester derby as Manchester City dismantled United, who appear to be on a downward spiral at the moment.
City continue to get better and better and could be about to deliver a knockout punch if Four Four Two are to be believed. The outlet have claimed that Pep Guardiola has set his sights on acquiring the highly-rated United starlet.
“FourFourTwo understands City are chasing promising United academy star Kobbie Mainoo. Losing him to City would be a huge loss – though luckily he does have a long-term contract.
City want Mainoo, United relaxed
Mainoo’s current deal is valid until 2027 and his current market value stands at €800k. United value him a lot more and are unlikely to agree to a sale anytime soon.
The Manchester Evening News have claimed that City have had eyes for Mainoo since he was nine but the midfielder always wanted to play for the Red Devils and that is unlikely to change.
“The Manchester Evening News understands Mainoo chose to join United’s academy and although City have attempted to lure him away at ages when it would have been possible, he’s chosen to stay each time.”
Mainoo is certainly the next top product to emerge from the famed United academy and if things fall in place, he could enjoy a long and fruitful stint in the first team and hopefully inspire the club to more silverware.