Erik ten Hag has advised Manchester United supporters to temper their excitement over Kobbie Mainoo despite the teenager’s remarkable breakthrough season.
Mainoo emerged as the hero for the Red Devils in their thrilling 4-3 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday (February 1). The 18-year-old sensation netted a breathtaking winner in the 90+7th minute, marking his inaugural Premier League goal.
Following his match-winning performance, Mainoo has received widespread acclaim, with many predicting him to be the next superstar for Manchester United.
However, Ten Hag adopted a cautious approach when discussing Mainoo’s extraordinary talent. Speaking about his crucial goal against Wolves in an interview with Sky Sports, he remarked:
“It’s always tricky. I don’t want to diminish its significance because it was exceptional. But I also don’t want to hype him up too much because the same people who praise him will be quick to criticize him. He will face setbacks along the way.”
Mainoo has solidified his position as a regular starter under Ten Hag this season, showcasing remarkable development and contributing two goals in 12 appearances across various competitions.
Ten Hag expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the Manchester United academy graduate, stating:
“At the moment, he is evolving with each game, which is characteristic of top talents. They embrace challenges and quickly elevate their performance to new heights, and that’s precisely what Kobbie is doing right now. We’re delighted, and it’s a pleasure to watch him play football.”
Reflecting on his memorable winning goal against Wolves, Mainoo admitted feeling like he was in a dream. In his words, shared via BBC Sport, he said:
“I still can’t believe it. It feels surreal to me. Representing my childhood club in the Premier League has been an incredible experience. Now, my focus is on winning more matches.”
With his consistent displays, Mainoo has shouldered enormous expectations and is hailed as one of English football’s brightest prospects. He has swiftly become one of Ten Hag’s key players this season.