free hit counter code Alan Shearer backs rookie for key position in Gareth Southgate’s England team –

Alan Shearer backs rookie for key position in Gareth Southgate’s England team

Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final
Kobbie Mainoo starred in Manchester United’s FA Cup win on Saturday (Picture: Getty Images)

Alan Shearer was so impressed with Kobbie Mainoo in the FA Cup final that he reckons the Manchester United teenager could be starting for England at the European Championship next month.

The midfielder scored in United’s surprise 2-1 win over Manchester City at Wembley, finishing off a remarkable season for the youngster personally.

It may have been an extremely mixed campaign for the Red Devils but the 19-year-old has emerged with immense credit and his performance at Wembley only added to that.

Shearer was particularly impressed with him due to the players he was in direct competition with on Saturday, standout out despite facing some of the very best midfielders on the planet.

‘It was a wonderful goal, the way he started it and finished it was very impressive,’ Shearer told The Rest Is Football. ‘But when you consider he’s up against someone who we consider the best in the world Rodri.

Kevin De Bruyne one of the best in the world, Phil Foden one of the best in the world, [Mateo] Kovacic his experience is incredible. He’s up against all these players in the middle of midfield yet he’s the one that shines. As a 19-year-old.

‘As important as his goal, his passing, his tackling, one of the most important things for me was when he went body to body with Erling Haaland from a corner and he stood his ground, he was strong as, and I loved that.’

Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final
Mainoo scored Manchester United’s second in the huge upset at Wembley (Picture: Getty Images)

Mainoo may only have made 25 appearances in the Premier League but he has already been recognised by England boss Gareth Southgate, who gave him his first cap against Brazil in March and his first start for the Three Lions three days later against Belgium.

Shearer reckons his Wembley performance against the Premier League champions may now see him starting for his country this summer at Euro 2024.

‘Not only has he played himself into the squad, he may have played himself into the XI,’ said the Newcastle legend. ‘In front of Gareth at Wembley, against that top quality Manchester CIty midfield he was the outstanding player. He may have just played himself into the XI.’

England v Brazil - International Friendly
Mainoo has already gained some experience in an England shirt (Picture: Getty Images)

With Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson dropping out of contention for England there is a space in midfield up for grabs alongside Declan Rice and behind Jude Bellingham, which Mainoo is a candidate to fill.

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Conor Gallagher appear to be the other options, or Bellingham dropping deeper and Phil Foden playing at no.10, but Mainoo may have stolen a march on all of them.

Even Manchester City’s Kyle Walker was quick to appreciate his talents in defeat at Wembley.

‘What a talent,’ he said of Mainoo. ‘This generation of talent coming through is very exciting. Hopefully he can take his form from breaking in this season to the Euros if selected. [With] my England hat on now, hopefully he has a good Euros.’

MORE : Lisandro Martinez sends message to Man Utd starlets Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho

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