Featured, Football

Kobbie Mainoo eyes Euro 2024 spot after call-up

A spot in England’s Euro 2024 team, according to Kobbie Mainoo, is the ultimate ambition after the Manchester United teenager’s meteoric rise continued with his first senior call-up.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who was once thought to be a future star at Old Trafford, has established himself as an important member of Erik ten Hag’s team since making a full recovery from a preseason injury to his ankle ligament.

In November, Mainoo made his Premier League debut against Everton and went on to win man-of-the-match. Just 114 days later, he was called up for the first time for England.

After United’s stunning 4-3 FA Cup quarterfinal victory over Liverpool, he was elevated for the friendlies against Brazil and Belgium after being initially included in the U21 team.

“It’s been a pretty mad couple of days,” Mainoo said.

“Sunday obviously was a great game and a great win, then to get called up to the U21s… obviously I was excited to come.

After being informed that he would be joining the senior team for training, Mainoo believed they merely required a player for the session until he spoke with Steve Holland, Gareth Southgate’s assistant.

The midfielder, whose family hails from Stockport, was “buzzing” when he called to share the good news since his career is advancing quickly.

“The games have been coming so fast at United I’ve not really had the time to think about it,” he said of the potential of a senior England call-up. “I have not really thought about it too much.

“Obviously I knew the international break was coming up, so thought about it a bit but, still, we had so many big games that I couldn’t really take my eye off the ball.

“But now I’m here, obviously I am taking it all in and it’s been amazing.”

Mainoo states that he has two simple goals for the meeting in March: “good training camp and two wins”.

In addition, he wants to make his England debut in order to convince Southgate that he is good enough to travel to Germany.

“Yeah, I think that’s the end goal for the season, to get into that squad,” Mainoo said.

“But obviously I’ve got to focus on club football in the meantime, and hopefully that’ll figure itself out.”

Mainoo is not the only young player to receive a chance under Southgate; Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka have both established themselves as mainstays for England.

“Yes, without a doubt,” he replied when asked if he aspires to that. They’ve been incredible to follow in their footsteps. “They’re both excellent players who have risen to prominence very fast.”

Other posts by