Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

‘Remarkable’ Kobbie Mainoo compared to Ballon d’Or favourite after latest Man Utd masterclass

Kobbie Mainoo, Man Utd

Kobbie Mainoo has been excellent for Man Utd this season

Gary Lineker has become the latest pundit to lavish praise on Kobbie Mainoo after he played a starring role in the FA Cup final on Saturday, helping Manchester United win the trophy for the first time since 2016.

Mainoo capped off an excellent performance at Wembley by doubling Man Utd’s lead in the 39th minute. After Alejandro Garnacho had capitalised on a mix-up between Stefan Ortega and Josko Gvardiol to put Man Utd in front, Bruno Fernandes brilliantly played in Mainoo with a deft touch and the 19-year-old calmly slotted into the bottom corner.

Manchester City did improve in the second half and hit the crossbar through Erling Haaland before Jeremy Doku scored from outside the box late on – a shot which should have been saved by Andre Onana.

However, City could not drag themselves level and this saw Man Utd end what has been a very eventful campaign on a major high.

Erik ten Hag has rightfully received plenty of praise for getting the better of Pep Guardiola tactically, despite there being plenty of talk surrounding his future.

But Mainoo was once again one of the stars of the show for Man Utd, showing maturity way beyond his years.

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Former England striker Gary Lineker has now lauded Mainoo, comparing him to England team-mate Jude Bellingham.

The Real Madrid ace is one of the favourites to win this year’s Ballon d’Or, alongside other world-class stars such as Vinicius Junior, Toni Kroos and Harry Kane.

Man Utd news: Gary Lineker lauds Kobbie Mainoo

“The sky is the limit, I think. I’m impressed with his remarkable maturity, [and] his confidence,” Lineker said.

“I think he knows how good he is. He reminds me in that sense of Bellingham. I know that’s a big shout, but he’s two years younger. I think he’s remarkably talented, I think he will feature in the Euros – I don’t know where and when.

“Gareth [Southgate] was in the stand and everyone in the ground could see how good he was, how confident he was. You can see he’s got almost an aura about him, the right sort of confidence.”

Mainoo has also been hailed by legendary former Man Utd midfielder Paul Scholes.

‘Read a few comparisons between me and this kid last week… don’t waste your time, he is 10 times the player I was at 19,’ Scholes wrote about Mainoo on social media.

‘Just love the way he receives the ball, the calmness, the awareness of what’s around him and of course big goals in big games.

‘The boy is special… and he’s a Red.’

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