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Declan Rice gives honest assessment of Kobbie Mainoo after 'friends asked him what he's like'

Declan Rice gives honest assessment of Kobbie Mainoo after 'friends asked him what he's like'

Mainoo, who has been superb for Man Utd this season, impressed on his England debut.

Declan Rice has heaped praise on Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo but says it's "really important" to not put too much pressure on the teenager.

Mainoo, who has been one of United's standout performers this season, received a late call-up to the England squad ahead of friendlies against Brazil and Belgium this month

He would go on to make his senior debut for the Three Lions, coming on for Conor Gallagher after 75 minutes.

The 18-year-old's performance impressed many. He completed all of his 20 passes against Dorival Junior's side and displayed great composure in the middle of the park alongside Declan Rice.

Rice was quick to praise Mainoo after his outing. After the full-time whistle, the Arsenal midfielder left a comment on his Instagram post that read: "Many more to come! Congrats bro."

And speaking in his press conference ahead of Tuesday's friendly against Belgium, Rice continued to praise the teenager, saying the "sky is the limit" for his international teammate.

"Every time I've seen him playing for United on the TV, he has been pretty much their best player every game," Rice explained as he sat next to Gareth Southgate.

"I've been asked a lot by my friends 'what's Mainoo like?' - and he's really, really impressive. I really want him to enjoy his career. I think it's really important that we don't put too much pressure on him.

"He's at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and now he's at England we just want to let him flourish. He's so composed.

"I have come across so many 18-year-olds who are top players but don't have that full package. He's just a really normal kid."

Rice added: "The sky is the limit for him. He's an amazing player and I am looking forward to hopefully playing many games for England with him."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Mainoo, who has become a first-team regular at Old Trafford this season, is set to make his full debut for the Three Lions on Tuesday, according to the Manchester Evening News.

“Definitely Kobbie has a chance,” Southgate said on Monday. “He seems very calm. You can see he is taking everything in. Talking to him, tactically, he seems able to take all those concepts on.

“A lot of young players now, with their academy education, are able to do that. You can see his comfort with the ball and receiving in tight areas.

“There are a lot of steps being taken in a very short period of time but you saw in the brief cameo the other day some of the qualities he has. It is a beautiful, innocent moment when he is just in the flow. And lapping up the opportunities as they come.”

Featured Image Credit: BBC - Getty Images

Topics: England, Gareth Southgate, Kobbie Mainoo, Declan Rice, Arsenal, Manchester United, Premier League