Ian Wright says Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo ‘has to be in the next England squad’

Imagine a midfield of Rice, Mainoo and Bellingham. Wow.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 19th February 2024

England and Arsenal legend Ian Wright has come out to insist that Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo needs to be included in the next England squad following yet another impressive senior performance this weekend.

Having now made a dozen Premier League appearances and 11 consecutive starts, the 18-year-old from Stockport has quickly become one of the first names on the teamsheet for Man United as they continue their unbeaten start to 2024.

Erik ten Hag’s side made hard work of their 2-1 away to Luton Town on Sunday, missing multiple one-on-one chances and allowing them back into the game despite a dream start, but still hung on to make it six wins out of the last seven games — and Mainoo has more than played his part.

Speaking just an hour after kick-off at Kenilworth Road, when the crowd-stirring goal turned the stadium into a cauldron that has eaten up a number of teams this season, Ian Wright hopped on social media to praise Mainoo for remaining the calm amongst the storm.

Big words for a player who’s only just made a dozen appearances in the Prem.

As you can see, Wrighty praised the central midfielder for demonstrating “such maturity in chaotic conditions that we’ve not seen from an England player in a long time”, adding that he has been impressed with every game he’s watched and simply “has to be in the next squad”.


He is by no means the only one to have lumped praise of the United academy prospect turned first-team starter either, as fans online reacted by writing, “Mainoo is genuinely one of the best young midfielders I’ve seen in a long, long time. I can’t believe he’s only 18”, and one joking, “Ballon d’Or isn’t enough we need to give Mainoo the Nobel Prize”.

Club legend Peter Schmeichel said that it looks like he’s been playing football at the top level “for the past 10 years”, while journalist, podcaster and lifelong fan Jay Motty went so far as to say he was “almost embarrassed by the way Mainoo is far and away the most composed United player on the pitch.”


The teenager had the stats to back it up too and even managed to nearly equal an in-match club record by completing a total of six dribbles in a league match, the most by any Red Devil since Paul Pogba (seven) in April of 2022.

Rasmus Højlund might have got the goals but for many Mainoo was the star of the show.

Read more:

Whether or not the youngster is ready to help run the show in the middle of the park for England or not remains to be seen, especially given how early into his career he is, but that hasn’t stopped countless fans from dreaming of a Declan Rice, Mainoo and Jude Bellingham midfielder three.

Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate still has a few months to make his final 23-man selection for Euro 2024 over in Germany but many England supporters, United fans or not, will be hoping the Greater Manchester talent is at least included in the travelling squad.


Moreover, with previous Southgate favourites like Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips yet to get going this season, there are at least two central midfielder spots up for contention.

Would you have Kobbie Mainoo in your England squad or is this all sounding a little too much too soon?

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — BBC/Man United/Kobbie Mainoo (via Instagram)