Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Kobbie Mainoo is mature beyond his years

Betfair ambassador Dimitar Berbatov
Berba belives top four is achievable for Man Utd this season

Betfair ambassador Dimitar Berbatov discusses Manchester United's improved form, hails Kobbie Mainoo's performances and says the Red Devils can finish in the Premier League's top four...

  • Mainoo can be United's main man

  • Reds young guns show future is bright

  • United can challenge for top four finish


Big week for Man Utd

It's vital to win games consistently, especially when you need points on the board. Manchester United need stability and momentum and it looks like results are going in their favour right now, which is great.

This will only give the players more self-belief that they're on the right path to fight for a place in the top four of the Premier League.

Kobbie Mainoo is like the Class of '92

Sometimes we're too quick to judge players. For good or for bad. Just let Kobbie Mainoo play and don't put too much pressure on his shoulders - he's too young for that now. He's doing great so we need to just let him be, let him play and let him enjoy himself.

The goal he scored against Wolves was great because it shows that he's mature beyond his years. He had the courage to try something different in the last minute of the game and it was a special moment.

Mainoo is a special player, but as with every 18-year-old, we must just let them play because at the moment, Kobbie is just enjoying football in its purest form and that's what I like to see.

You have to go back to the likes Paul Scholes, Giggsy, Gary Neville, and when that crop of players broke through to see players so young seem so mature. Now with Kobbie, you can see he plays the game with such confidence. He's composed and he knows how to play the game.

Of course, we all hope, he'll get better because he's still so young. Players like him are special individuals. You see them play at a young age and they clearly have the talent. Now the only thing Kobbie must do is continue developing and work on the weak points of his game that will benefit the team.

England call-up will follow in time

It's exciting to watch players like Mainoo, especially when they have such huge talent, but one step at a time. Don't jump when you need to walk first. Let's not get carried away and start talking about Mainoo getting picked by Gareth Southgate and going to this summer's Euros with England.

Gareth Southgate England training World Cup.jpg

Obviously Ten Hag trusts Mainoo and knows how to manage him so everything else will follow in time. We need to just enjoy what's happening now and not get carried away just yet. Let Mainoo play.

Three young guns leading the way for Man Utd

Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho and Mainoo are enjoying playing football right now and scoring goals. Difficult times will come and that will bring challenges that they need to overcome, but they'll find solutions and learn from that. They will all get better with time as long as they want to develop.

All three players are in a great position, at the greatest club in the world. Things are going well and I'm happy to see them with a smile on their faces. The future is bright based on the talent they all have, but I don't want to get carried away so let's see what happens.

Hojlund is showing he's a top striker

Hojlund's confidence is back. As a strike, when you see that you didn't forget how to score goals and you end up scoring in three or four games in a row, believe me, that gives you all you need to know that you're a good goalscorer.

It's all about having the confidence that, when the ball comes your way, you know you're going to score. You're not going to hide or think about missing and that will help your game.

I said before that when he scored his first goal it would give him the confidence to follow that up and score more and we've seen that happen. The goal Hojlund scored against West Ham was great.

Garnacho switch is paying dividends

You need healthy competition in your team to try and drive each other forward. It's all about the manager knowing where each player feels most comfortable on the pitch. Sometimes you have to swap players around but when you find where they best fit, you have to stick to it.

Garnacho is doing great things on the right-hand-side at the moment, but I'll say what I said about Mainoo - let's not get carried away. The talent is there but now the performances need to be consistent.

Ten Hag.jpg

They need look no further than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for examples of how to make the most of their talent. If they want to follow in their footsteps, the only thing they need is to be consistent because the talent is there already.

Martinez injury is a big blow

The injury Lisandro Martinez suffered was ridiculously unlucky. I sympathise with him and know how he feels. The only thing he must do now is just try to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.

His absence is a blow to United because we all know how important Martinez is to the team. He's always fighting tirelessly to give his best for United, but this is how football works sometimes. It can be cruel.

Now with the injury, things have changed slightly. Maybe they need to try and find someone at the back for next season, but we can't think too much about the summer window now. There's plenty of time until that comes. For now, they have to use what's available and manage the situation as best they possibly can.

Top four finish is achievable for Man Utd

It's not difficult now for Manchester United. If they keep winning, they have a good chance of reaching the top four but if they lose, they won't. All they must do is build on the games they've recently won and hope that the teams around them lose points.

The priority should be playing Champions League football and getting into the top four.

Captain Bruno won't leave

I saw Bruno was the latest Premier League player linked with Saudi Arabia. Unless the offer is so good that you can't turn it down - and that wouldn't be difficult for the Saudis - he will not leave the club.

He's the captain, creating a lot of chances on the pitch and everyone looks up to him. I don't see him leaving the club in the foreseeable future.


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