A source at Manchester United has revealed Kobbie Mainoo’s grounded attitude is one “rarely seen from players at that stage of their career”, despite the academy graduate’s meteoric rise over the past month.
A report by the Manchester Evening News indicates officials at Old Trafford are as impressed by the midfielder’s approach off the pitch as they are by his performances on it.
The 18-year-old is said to have remained “completely calm” in the face of increased media attention and not altered the routine which has led to his impressive performances for the first team.
Mainoo continues to use the main car park at the Carrington training complex, rather than the one reserved for the senior squad behind the facility.
Similarly, he continues to live in his parent’s house, with his father thought to be an excellent influence on his son’s flourishing career.
Mainoo made his Premier League debut start for the club in the recent trip to Goodison Park, where the academy graduate received the Man of the Match award for his impressive display at the heart of United’s midfield.
This has been followed up by starts away to Newcastle and Liverpool – two of the toughest grounds in England to visit, particularly for a young midfielder. And Mainoo did not look out of place in either game.
Mainoo’s selections in these games speak to the faith his manager, Erik ten Hag, holds in him, despite his tender years. Speaking after Sunday’s hard-fought draw at Anfield, the Dutchman revealed:
“When you are good enough, you are old enough and he proved that. When he gets used more often in those games, he will get even more joy from it.
With his skill, with his speed of action, he can get such passes, three or four passes in and get switches in. And then he’s the player who can really hurt opponents.”
The club have adopted a tactic from Sir Alex Ferguson’s playbook, withholding the midfielder from media activities, as the Scottish manager did with Ryan Giggs in the early 1990s. It is an attempt to shield a player, who only turned 18 in April, from an unnecessary level of scrutiny and attention.
Fortunately, it appears an almost unneeded precaution given Mainoo’s maturity on the pitch appears to be matched by his maturity off it.