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Micah Richards highlights Kobbie Mainoo’s special quality that puts other Manchester United players to shame

Micah Richards spotted a gifted quality in Mainoo that sets him apart from his peers.

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In a standout performance during Manchester United’s recent 2-1 victory over Luton at Kenilworth Road, Kobbie Mainoo, the 18-year-old midfielder, drew high praise from Micah Richards for his remarkable composure and skill in possession.

Having become a vital component of Erik ten Hag’s squad and netting his first Premier League goal in a thrilling 4-3 win against Wolves earlier in the month, Mainoo’s contributions, although not clinching the game on Sunday, were pivotal in maintaining the team’s lead as Luton relentlessly sought an equaliser in the second half.

On the Rest is Football podcast, Richards, the former Manchester City defender, lauded Mainoo’s ability to retain calm and control over the ball amidst the game’s high tension. “It’s just like his composure. You know, today, when the game was getting a bit frantic, he was the only one able to get his foot on the ball and remain calm in possession.” Richards commented, highlighting Mainoo’s unique capability to stabilise play when the match intensity escalated.

Richards believes that this quality sets the starlet apart from rest of the Manchester United players.

Throughout the game against the newly-promoted side, Mainoo demonstrated versatility, initially playing alongside Casemiro before the Brazilian was substituted to avoid a potential red card. Scott McTominay replaced Casemiro post-interval, and despite McTominay’s offensive push, Mainoo continued to command the midfield.

However, Richards expressed concerns over the potential impact of an early call-up to the senior squad on Mainoo’s burgeoning career.

“In regards to England, it’s always a tough one.” He added. “On ability, I would take him. Because he’s dealt with the whole pressure of United and fitting in.

“Do you remember a couple of games back [December’s 2-0 defeat to West Ham United] he actually made a mistake that led to a goal, but he bounced back from that, it didn’t affect him, so you see his true character there.

“The only thing is, if we rush him too soon, is it going to spoil him? Is that going to be too much pressure? I was listening to an interview with Mourinho and he said what’s special about Jude is that he had his football away from the English media hype.

“He was able to go about his business without that pressure. And I just worry that if Mainoo were to go and play and start and do well, are we going to put too much pressure on him? But I agree, in that position, apart from Rice, there’s no one playing better. It’s a conundrum.”

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