Forget deadline day, Man Utd now have incredible £100m asset money can’t buy


There is no calming the hype over Kobbie Mainoo right now. Let’s lean into it, and bask in the young midfielder’s brilliance.

I’ve seen a number of young players come through the Manchester United academy during the years, and you instantly know when there’s a truly special talent breaking through.

Manchester United’s FA Youth Cup winning side was full of promise in 2022, and there was never a doubt that Alejandro Garnacho would quickly accelerate through the ranks to the first team, and he did, later that year.

The star of the midfield through the winning run to silverware was Kobbie Mainoo, was just 16 when the tournament began, putting in performances which had supporters hoping he was ‘Paul Pogba Plus’.

New boss Erik ten Hag took an instant liking to him, involving him in training last season before handing his his debut as a starter in the Carabao Cup at 17.

Forget deadline day, Man Utd now have incredible £100m asset money can't buy
Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Kobbie Mainoo is now essential to Manchester United

Now 18, Kobbie Mainoo is fast becoming Manchester United’s most important midfielder. Yes, you read that right, more important than five-times Champions League winner Casemiro.

Casemiro has quality, but can he nutmeg an opponent, shimmy past another, and curl the ball into the bottom corner?

Mainoo did exactly that to score a brilliant goal to send Manchester United fans wild to seal a 4-3 win against Wolves, when many had their heads in their hands after the home side had pegged United back from 3-1 to 3-3 minutes earlier.

The young midfielder has a combination of technique and intelligence, with the maturity to control difficult Premier League games.

Look at the game Ten Hag threw him into back in late October, making his first Premier League start in the cauldron at Goodison Park. He was the best player on the pitch, his manager knew he could handle it.

Mainoo is providing fans with a level of confidence, and excitement. You know he can handle just about anything.

What you don’t quite know, is what his ceiling is. It’s scary. Mainoo will no doubt be tipped for England in the run up to Euro 2024, but we don’t care about that. He’s good enough, but we would rather he is kept fresh for Manchester United.

Kobbie Mainoo’s timing was perfect

Kobbie Mainoo’s rise to the top is perfect. Manchester United need a hero right now, amid what has been a torturous 2023/24 season so far. But that’s not clouding judgement on Mainoo. He is getting the praise because he genuinely deserves it, not because United fans are mistakenly casting him as a solution.

The timing of Mainoo’s first Premier League goal was absolutely perfect, especially with it coming on transfer deadline day.

Everyone loves a big deal, but Manchester United fans have learned over the years, you don’t win anything in the transfer market.

Big money signings are rarely successes, as United have expensively found out. And who cares about who could be signed, when we have got the real deal coming through.

How much would Kobbie Mainoo cost right now? If Manchester United were bidding, it would be £100 million plus.

Ironically, he would be worth every penny. Fortunately United can enjoy him without having to worry about him being weighed down by the pressure of a price tag.

Deadline day has now been and gone, and will be remembered for the moment Kobbie Mainoo delivered his first Premier League goal. Priceless.

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