Calls for Southgate to start Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer grow following England’s lacklustre second game

Surely it has to be a case of when not if?

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 21st June 2024

The calls for Gareth Southgate to start Manchester-born duo Kobbie Mainoo and Cole Palmer in the next Euros game are growing after England’s lacklustre second game against Denmark.

The Three Lions have four points on the board, which should be enough for them to advance into the knockout stages of the competition, but it’s fair to say that the 1-0 and 1-1 scorelines have summed up a somewhat underwhelming start to their Euro 2024 campaign.

Most of the frustration surrounding England‘s opening fixtures has been the lack of attacking intent from the team as well control in the middle of the park, with Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold being played there due to his passing range.

As a result, lots of fans are already questioning why the Southgate is yet to start Stockport-born Kobbie Mainoo – Man United’s breakthrough midfielder from this season – as the national team boss looks to find the right balance in midfield, with many already declaring the Trent ‘experiment’ a failure.

As you can see, lots of pundits and supporters alike believe Mainoo could be the solution to why England don’t look as commanding in the midfielder, especially given numerous standout appearances in his debut campaign – not least his man-of-the-match performance in United’s FA Cup win over Man City.


The consensus seems to be that Southgate is cautious of throwing the tournament debutant into the mix, despite the Stopfordian having clearly shown his maturity even at the young age of 19.

The same goes for Cole Palmer, as there seems to be just as many fans crying out for the inclusion of the attacking midfielder from Wythenshawe, who picked up the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season award and who boasted the goal contributions (33) of any player in the division for 2023/24.


Commentator Arlo White simply posted, “Get Mainoo and Palmer on!!”, while former City and England striker Daniel Sturridge added: “I’m genuinely shocked we haven’t seen Cole Palmer grace the field yet.”

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With so many echoing the same sentiment, you have to start wondering when not if, with plenty of others also backing Conor Gallagher to come into midfield as Southgate chose to sub him on against the Danes.

That being said, we have seen this fractious relationship between the fans, the manager and his often cautious squad selections plenty of times before, with the 53-year-old refusing to use Jack Grealish early enough at the last Euros.


Only time will tell if Southgate will listen to the calls to bring Mainoo and Palmer into the side but one thing’s for sure, England need an injection of new energy or something if they are to spring into life and turn into the best version of themselves we’ve seen previously.

You don’t get too long to fine-tune your squad on the big stage and they need to get a rhythm going if they want to go far as we know they can.

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Featured Images — Kobbie Mainoo (via IG)/ (via Wiki Commons)/Cole Palmer (via IG)