What 10 pundits have said about Kobbie Mainoo’s remarkable rise, ft. Neville, Keane, Scholes…

Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo has been called up to join Gareth Southgate’s England squad – and you’d be hard-pushed to find someone who doesn’t believe he deserves it.

The 18-year-old has received rave reviews since he made his Premier League debut for his boyhood club back in November. He’s been a mainstay of Erik ten Hag’s midfield and key to their major uptick in form.

Mainoo’s performances for Manchester United have resulted in something of a clamour to join the Three Lions squad for the upcoming friendlies against Belgium and Brazil.

After he was originally given the nod for England’s Under-21s, Southgate listened and called him up for the senior squad.

We’ve compiled quotes from 10 pundits on Mainoo’s remarkable rise.

Ian Wright

“That performance from Mainoo by the way!” the former England international, speaking on his Wrighty’s House podcast, said of Mainoo’s full Premier League debut for Manchester United back in November.

“I remember seeing him in pre-season, you could just see his level with his calmness, maturity and passing, you just think wow!”

“In every aspect of his game and how played he looked like a senior pro, he made all the right decisions, and he was brilliant.”

“He came into a big game for United and had a midfield performance of that level, to play with that composure was so impressive.”

Wright wasn’t the only one bowled over by Mainoo’s performance that day.

READ: ‘So composed, so graceful’: What Keane, Neville & others said about Kobbie Mainoo’s ‘unbelievable’ Man Utd debut

Paul Scholes

“I think Mainoo needs a run in the team,” Scholes told TNT Sports back in November.

“And from what we saw at Everton on Sunday, I think now it’s time to give him a chance.

“This back-four, they need protecting. No one senses danger as much as this young lad.

“On Sunday, in a hostile atmosphere, he looked the real deal. I don’t see anyone else being able to protect the back four like he can do.”

Gary Neville

“The goal was sensational for Mainoo,” Neville said of Mainoo’s first goal for United, an injury-time match-winner against Wolves in February.

“We’ve obviously seen different types of goals, but for him to keep such composure, slot it through the lad’s legs, it’s just absolutely wonderful and the finish.”

“He’s a fantastic player. To come into Manchester United’s team at any time is really difficult and he’s come in at one of the most difficult times in the club’s recent history and he’s just stood out as someone whose temperament and composure is off the scale.”

“It looks like he’s got the world at his feet for the next 10 years.”

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Roy Keane

“He’s a smart, intelligent footballer and he can go right to the very top,” the former Manchester United captain told Sky Sports.

“The senior players will need to keep him grounded, make sure he learns, but he’s got the composure and we’ve seen that already.

“Defensively, he can get around the pitch but the kid has a chance, obviously.”

Micah Richards

“How good was Kobbie Mainoo? Oh my word. He just gets better and better,” Richards said of Mainoo’s individual display in United’s FA Cup victory over Millwall.

“We analysed him when he first played for Manchester United and we spoke about how calm he was on the ball, but it’s not just that. He runs forward, he’s got great feet, his passing range is good.

“I think he’s still got work to do in terms of the tactical side of things and protecting his back four a little bit more, but what a performance. He was amazing.”

Alan Shearer

“Very, very good player,” Shearer said, speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast.

“The pressure that comes with playing for such a huge football club and the way he has just come in and just handled it so easily has to be a great positive. He has to be in his [Southgate’s] thoughts.”

Craig Burley

“Can I just have a little word quickly on Kobbie Mainoo? Holy smokes!” Burley said, speaking on ESPN FC, following the 4-3 FA Cup victory over Liverpool.

“We’ve seen it this season, he was injured at the start of the season, but we’ve seen it in patches, particularly recently.

“He has got McTominay there, he’s a sort of mid-20s international footballer, workman-like, scores the odd goal for club and country, grafts, has a limited talent level on the ball.

“And then we have young Kobbie Mainoo playing against three internationals – one’s won a World Cup in Mac Allister, one’s the Hungarian captain in Szoboszlai, and the other one, Endo, plays for his country, Japan.

“And here we have a teenager on the ball as if he’s got 300 games for Man United. It’s quite scary.”

READ: 10 insane stats from Man Utd’s absolutely incredible 4-3 FA Cup victory over Liverpool

Rio Ferdinand

“It’s the calmness that stands out. The decision-making and the calmness,” former United defender Ferdinand, speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel.

“Yesterday [the win over Luton] was a hustle and bustle kind of game, he was the only one that looked like he was quite calm in the game. Every time he got it, he made the right decision. Very, very composed.

“He’s a really level-headed kid from what I hear. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times. He seems very down to earth. He’s surrounded by the right people. He’s not going to get too high or too low. That good balance is what you need.”

Owen Hargreaves

“I was looking forward to seeing Kobbie Mainoo,” Hargreaves told TNT Sports following Mainoo’s Champions League performance against Bayern Munich.

“He’s such a good player, it’s his composure on the ball. You can pass it to him anywhere. He’s going to be a proper player.”

Graeme Souness

“I think he’s come in as a young boy, in a position where you have to be thinking all of the time, where is the danger, sensing danger, and he’s really good on the ball,” Souness said, speaking on ITV following Liverpool’s defeat at Old Trafford.

“The fact he is really technical, he can take the ball in tight areas, that position will get better and better because he’ll learn.”

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