Erik ten Hag has already found his next Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United, he's determined he will be a star - Apkcombat

Erik ten Hag has already found his next Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United, he’s determined he will be a star

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is taking care with the tutelage of young defensive star Willy Kambwala.

Willy Kambwala was handed a shock debut late last year for Manchester United amid a defensive injury crisis, but manager Erik ten Hag would not have thrown him in if he did not feel he was capable of stepping up.

The academy star has regularly been a part of matchday squads since, and has made four appearances in total now, three as a substitute.

A new injury to Lisandro Martinez has underlined Manchester United’s need for defensive depth, with Kambwala in the mix.

Erik ten Hag has already found his next Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United, he's determined he will be a star
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Kambwala gets an arm from Erik ten Hag

Willy Kambwala had a personal one on one chat with Erik ten Hag at training at Carrington, with the Dutchman taking care to impart some words of advice.

Kambwala, 19, signed for Manchester United from Sochaux in 2020, and struggled with injuries, which kept him out of the FA Youth Cup final in 2022.

He has now made up for lost time and is learning from the first team regulars, and recently named Nemanja Vidic as one of his inspirations.

Kambwala came through the same Les Ulis academy as Patrice Evra too, and recently received some encouragement from the Champions League winning left-back.

Erik ten Hag is investing his time in Kambwala, who plays at a position where Manchester United need young talent, at centre-back.

Erik ten Hag gave Kobbie Mainoo personal encouragement

It is impossible not to draw parallels here with the scenes at the Carabao Cup final where Erik ten Hag sought out Kobbie Mainoo, who was not part of the matchday squad, put his arm around him and offered some words of encouragement and advice.

Mainoo had made his debut a month earlier, picked out by Ten Hag, who clearly had high hopes for him, evidenced by his usage this season.

Willy Kambwala is at a similar stage of his development, recently handed a debut, on the fringes, and hoping to make the jump to become a regular in the future.

It’s a big ask for him to make the leap at Manchester United, but if Ten Hag feels strongly enough, he will make plans to use him, he has shown this with Kobbie Mainoo.

The arm around the shoulder and personal touch is a sign he cares. Kambwala has a real chance to be United’s next regular call-up after Mainoo, who followed Alejandro Garnacho a year earlier.

The manager is investing his time in him, now it is up to Kambwala to seize his opportunities, and follow his advice and instructions

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