Manchester United eased past League One side Wigan Athletic in their FA Cup third round tie at the DW Stadium on Monday.
Goals from Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes in each half meant Erik ten Hag will face Newport County or Eastleigh away in the fourth round.
There was plenty to like from United’s attacking players on the night but it was young Kobbie Mainoo who dominated the midfield on the night.
His performance once again made a mockery of the fact that he is only 18 and that there is plenty more to come from the England U-19 international.
The Latics did not provide too much of a stern test but that is mainly because the Red Devils won the midfield battle due to Mainoo’s energetic display.
He had 86 touches of the ball, finishing the game with a passing accuracy rate of 90 per cent. He shielded the back four with elan, making eight tackles and one clearance and block each.
His defensive awareness remains top-notch for someone so young, with the United academy graduate winning a whopping 10 ground duels on the night.
He more often than not eclipsed his more seasoned teammates, always at the right place at the right time when it came to cutting out danger in the nick of time.
As the game progressed and with Wigan offering hardly anything from an attacking point of view, the young midfielder was emboldened to venture further forward.
Impressed in a more advanced role as well
He showed composure with the ball at his feet, constantly evading the opposition press and finding his man more times than not.
He successfully completed all his dribbles, and found a teammate with two long balls (all stats via Sofascore).
When Ten Hag does get all his midfielders back from injury, there might be a chance for fans to see what Mainoo can offer in a more advanced role.
He certainly showed glimpses of his attacking talent at the DW Stadium, making one key pass and having a shot on target that was smartly saved by the Wigan goalie.
United have a superstar on their hands and if managed carefully, the sky’s the limit for young Kobbie Mainoo.