And on Sunday, England manager Gareth Southgate travelled to Villa Park to watch the midfielder in action, as United made it three consecutive league wins. Mainoo was entrusted with 92 minutes by his manager before being replaced by Sofyan Amrabat in the dying seconds.
And according to the Daily Star, Southgate will now recommend that Mainoo, who has already represented England Under-19s, is called up by Under-21s boss Lee Carsley. The young Three Lions face Azerbaijan and Luxembourg next month in qualifiers for their Euro 2025 tournament.
Mainoo is also eligible to represent Ghana, and Southgate could yet opt to introduce the United man into the senior fold given his side doesn’t have any competitive action in March. Instead, England will play Brazil and Belgium in friendlies at Wembley, and Southgate will likely experiment given his side have already secured their place at Euro 2024 in Germany, meaning Mainoo could get his chance.
The Stockport-born star seemingly had his development stunted when he picked up an injury in his club’s pre-season tour of America. Indeed, it wasn’t until November 26 that he made his first league start, impressing in their 3-0 win at Everton and later receiving the man-of-the-match award.
He’s since nailed down a regular place in the starting XI, and prior to his late show at Wolves, scored his maiden United goal in an FA Cup win at Newport County in January. And former Man United defender Rio Ferdinand was been one pundit to lavish praise on him, comparing him to former Holland playmaker Clarence Seedorf.
Given Southgate’s insistence on picking players in form, a place for Mainoo on the plane to Germany cannot be ruled out. Following the international break next month, England play Bosnia and Iceland in June before their tournament opener against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen on June 16.
Ten Hag has spoken positively about Mainoo’s contribution, and also believes he will continue to develop further while partnered alongside the experienced Casemiro in United’s midfield. “For Kobbie Mainoo, he can learn a lot from it and that togetherness, that bond – also Kobbie is very coachable and Casemiro has so much experience,” he said last week.
“Kobbie will learn a lot from it and that can even accelerate his development. So yeah, I’m happy to have him back (Casemiro) and when they can play together I think they can take benefits from each other.”