Kobbie Mainoo: The young British-Ghanaian talent turning heads in world football

Stories and facts

Kobbie Boateng Mainoo, born on April 19, 2005, is a British-Ghanaian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team.

Mainoo, a product of Manchester United's youth system, was awarded the Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year in 2023. He made his first-team debut in an EFL Cup match in January 2023 and has represented England at under-17, under-18, and under-19 levels before debuting for the senior team in March 2024.

Born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, to Ghanaian parents, Mainoo was raised in Cheadle Hulme. His older brother, Jordan Hames, gained fame as a contestant on the fifth series of Love Island.

Mainoo began his youth career at Cheadle & Gatley Junior Football Club and joined Manchester United at the age of nine.

He signed his first professional contract with Manchester United in May 2022 and quickly made an impression, earning a call-up to the first-team squad for training in October 2022.

Mainoo was named on the bench for the first time on October 16, 2022, for a Premier League match against Newcastle United.

He made his senior debut on January 10, 2023, starting in a 3-0 home win over Charlton Athletic in the EFL Cup, and made his league debut on February 19 by coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 home win against Leicester City in the Premier League.

In the 2023-24 season, Mainoo joined the Manchester United squad on their pre-season tour in the United States, though an injury delayed his start to the season. He returned from injury to make his first league start for Manchester United on November 26, 2023, in a 3-0 victory away to Everton, earning the man of the match award.

He made his UEFA Champions League debut on November 29, coming off the bench in a 3-3 draw against Galatasaray.

Mainoo scored his first goal for Manchester United on January 28, 2024, in a 4-2 win against Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round. He scored his first Premier League goal on February 1, netting the winning goal in a dramatic 4-3 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, which was later awarded Premier League Goal of the Month for February 2024. On April 7.

He scored his first professional goal at Old Trafford in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool. Mainoo capped off the season by scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final on May 25, securing a 2-1 victory over local rivals Manchester City, becoming the youngest player to score in an FA Cup final since 1964.

His impressive performances earned him a nomination for the Premier League Young Player of the Season award in May 2024.

Internationally, Mainoo has represented England at various youth levels. He was called up to the senior squad for the first time in March 2024 for friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, making his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat to Brazil at Wembley Stadium.

He made his first England start against Belgium three days later, earning the man of the match award. Mainoo was included in England's 26-man squad for UEFA Euro 2024, making his competitive debut in the team's opening match against Serbia. He played a significant role in the knockout stages, starting in the round of 16 match against Slovakia.

Mainoo is primarily a central midfielder, capable of playing as a defensive or attacking midfielder. Known for his intelligence, composure, and dribbling skills, he excels at driving the ball forward and navigating through tight spaces.

His style of play has drawn comparisons to Clarence Seedorf, and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised his adaptability and progress. Pundit Paul Scholes has lauded Mainoo's calmness, awareness, and impact in big games, describing him as a special talent.

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