Erik ten Hag backs young midfielder at United to push for opportunities in first team

Erik ten Hag has touted Robbie Mainoo as the next Manchester United academy player to break into the first team.

The manager believes that Mainoo, 17, has a big future ahead of him at Old Trafford.

Mainoo has thus far managed three appearances under Ten Hag this season, and these recent comments suggest he could get more game time before the end of the season.

However, I would think that a lot will depend on whether United can secure a top player finish before the last game of the season.

This comes after Alejandro Garnacho put pen to paper over a five-year extension at United. Again, it’s clear that Ten Hag is building for the future and there’s a number of talented youngsters coming through the academy.

Ten Hag clearly enjoys the trend of promoting academy players into the first team, which is something he did very well during his time at Ajax.

“Man United has a big history of youth development and to develop them and progress them into the first team. In our talks last year, that was one of the points we talked about,” Ten Hag said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

“Of course, because I was in Ajax, Ajax was the same as Man United in developing young players, giving young players opportunities to work on their personality if they feel that they are good people and they have a good life and they can contribute in society.

“But we want to develop players into the first team. So I think we are also in that perspective in a good way: Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo is also on his way. There is a pathway to the first team but they have to deserve it.

“We make structures with the academy, brilliant work, we work together with the under-21s and training into the first team but talent has to do it by itself.”

Ten Hag went on to admit that when he started talks with Manchester United that developing young players was high on the list of demands. After all, it is a proud tradition of our famous football club.

“I know the culture of Man United, I knew before. Of course, I was long employed in youth football,” he added.

“I met several times Man United in big tournaments in the Netherlands. We have a big tournament in under-15s, Man United was always there, I think it’s the biggest tournament for under-15 teams. But also in the past everyone knew and talked about Busby Babes and also generation 92.

Get the most important Manchester United news, opinion, interviews and exclusive features with the Stretty Newsletter – Ad Free! Kick off your afternoon with the Stretty News verdict on all matters Manchester United.

More Stories Ajax Erik ten Hag Kobbie Mainoo Manchester United


  1. What kobe mainoo needs is confidence cos that boy is a serious talent. I think this pre-season will be key for his development. I’ll also luke to see the likes of Dan Gore, Hannibal Mejbri, Ahmed Traore, Alvaro Fernandez, Charlie Savage and Lacey.

  2. Under EtH you fight for your chance. He doesn’t give out chances you earn it on the training ground. This club is going places and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  3. Under EtH you fight for your chance to play. He doesn’t hand out chances you earn it by your dedication and hard work. Þhis club is fuĺl of talents that will become Superstars and I can’t wait to see it and how they are managed.

  4. ETH wants his own discovery and he’s set his heart on Mainoo. In truth, he’s not better than the other discoveries before ETH showed up – Savage and Iqbal especially, who have now suddenly been relegated to near total obscurity. The team can do much more with it’s youngsters. We waste far too much young talent at man U, searching instead for these made mercenaries. Anyway, looking forward to next season.

Comments are closed