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Pundit urges Ten Hag to be cautious with Kobbie Mainoo

Former defender turned pundit Stephen Warnock has urged Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag to take caution about Kobbie Mainoo before integrating him into the first-team fold.

After coming through the Red Devils academy, the 18-year-old made his senior debut for United last term in a Carabao Cup encounter versus Charlton Athletic. The youngster was a part of Man Utd’s squad in the pre-season and looked promising during the pre-season games, but unfortunately, he got injured so he couldn’t start the season.

However, he has now returned to full fitness and was handed his full debut in the Premier League versus Everton last weekend. He displayed a promising performance at Goodison Park so, optimism has started to grow among the United fans that Mainoo could resolve United’s key midfield issue going forward.

However, speaking on Sky Sports(via the Daily Express), Warnock has urged Ten Hag to be careful with Mainoo before integrating him into the first-team squad as it is difficult for youngsters to cope with the demands of top-level football.

The pundit further states that if Mainoo isn’t mature enough physically then he has the risk of sustaining injuries and that could prevent him from developing.

Pundit urges Ten Hag to be cautious with Mainoo

Warnock also says that youngsters need to be given chances gradually and let them mature naturally. The pundit further points out Liverpool’s Stefan Bajcetic’s situation as an example of how he has been struggling with injury problems in recent months having burst onto the scene last term.

Warnock said:

“One thing you have to be careful with youngsters is are they fully matured into their body? You worry about injuries. I look at Bacjetic at Liverpool, you have a prolonged run in the team and it just becomes that little bit too much for you.

“[You need] to drip feed them into the team slowly because you have to let them mature naturally. You can’t just suddenly go ‘Well if he’s good enough, he’s old enough’ – it’s not the case now because of the speed of the game as well.”

So, it is going to be interesting to see how Ten Hag decides to use Mainoo in the upcoming matches. Nevertheless, Mainoo showcased glimpses of his talent in his full Premier League debut last weekend and the United fans will be hoping that he will be able to continue his development and reach his full potential in the future.

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