Exclusive: John Barnes on United’s talented trio

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We recently caught up with former Liverpool winger John Barnes who again shared his admiration for the form of Manchester United’s young stars who have helped to keep the club in contention for a much desired Champions League place. Barnes also shared his thoughts on Casemiro who has struggled with injury and form for much of this season.

In this article:

  • Too early for Mainoo England call up
  • Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund have bright future ahead of them
  • Was Casemiro always a short term solution for United?

Too early for Mainoo England call up

It has been a breakthrough season for Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo who has already become a mainstay in the Manchester United midfield. So much so that after Casemiro had given the ball away six times in the space of twenty minutes, the academy graduate had to have a world with the Champions League winner urging him to calm down. Mainoo has impressed in almost every facet of what is required from a midfielder.

Appearing older and wiser beyond his years. A smooth first touch is accompanied by a great passing range and manipulation of the ball to get him out of tight situations. And then there’s the goal he scored against Wolves away at The Molineux to secure United a much needed win away from home. It appears as though Mainoo will miss out on a senior call up to the England squad today and Barnes agrees it’s far too early for Mainoo to be involved in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

“Kobbie Mainoo and Garnacho have done well under difficult circumstances with the team not playing well. It would be easy for the young players to wilt under the pressure and having to be in the firing line. Mainoo and Garnacho have consistently played well for them.

“Should Mainoo be playing for England? Why don’t we give him time to develop? He’s playing in a team that’s not even in the top five or four. United aren’t playing particularly well so why are we going to put pressure on him.

“If he was playing that well, wouldn’t United be in the top four or five and they’re not. So I’m not going to get carried away because he’s playing well and having a good breakthrough season. And he is playing very well but as with all young players, let them develop slowly and he’ll get his rewards later on.”

Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund have bright future ahead of them

Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund have been the bright spots in a very disappointing second season for ten Hag at United. All three look set to have a bright future at Old Trafford and whether ten Hag is in post or not next season, you can expect that Mainoo, Garnacho and Hojlund will play a huge part of the INEOS project.

“Mainoo, Garnancho and Hojlund have all got bright futures. Hojlund has come in under a lot of pressure with a hefty price tag but has scored goals, he works hard and leads the line. He’s been fantastic. All of them have been great.

“You can’t tell who’s going to haven’t the brightest future but I do know they all have bright futures and are very talented, young players.”

Was Casemiro always a short term solution for United?

Another disappointment for United this season has been the fitness and form of midfielder Casemiro who has largely struggled during his second at the club. Barnes suggests that he isn’t at all surprised by the drop off in form of Casemiro as he was never going to be a long term solution to United’s midfield issue.

“When he came we knew he wasn’t going to be a long term solution for Manchester United. Look at the age he’s at and where he’s been. He came to give them some experience but he’s now getting injuries due to his age and he’s always been big so injuries probably work against bigger players.

“When he came he steadied the ship but he’s not the long term of United. He was never going to be there for five, six or seven years.”

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