International Soccer

Declan Rice explains why ‘sky is the limit’ for England teammate Kobbie Mainoo

Declan Rice has hailed the performances of recent England debutant Kobbie Mainoo, labelling the youngster “really, really impressive”.

The young midfielder has become one of the most talked about players in Europe since breaking into the Manchester United first team, instantly becoming one of the club’s most important players under the guidance of manager Erik ten Hag.

Despite being just 18 years old, Mainoo’s performances have been so eye-catching that he earned his maiden senior England cap this past weekend, coming off the bench in the Three Lions’ 1-0 defeat to Brazil in a friendly at Wembley Stadium.

Kobbie Mainoo

Superstar in the making / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Speaking ahead of Mainoo’s potential second cap for his nation, in a friendly against Belgium on Tuesday evening, fellow midfielder Rice gave his first impressions of the Man Utd starlet.

“Every time I’ve seen him playing for United on the TV, he has been pretty much their best player every game,” said Rice. “In training, the composure he shows, the little tight touches he takes in tight areas is really impressive for an 18-year-old.

“I’ve been asked a lot by my friends, ‘what’s Mainoo like?’ and he’s really, really impressive. I really want him to enjoy his career. I think it’s really important that we don’t put too much pressure on him. He’s at one of the biggest clubs in the world and now he’s at England, and we just want to let him flourish.

“He’s so composed. I have come across so many 18-year-olds who are top players but don’t have that full package, just because of who they are as a person. But he is so level-headed, that is the first thing I learned about him. The sky’s the limit for him, he’s an amazing player and I am looking forward to hopefully playing many games for England with him.”


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