"He can help us..." - Ten Hag could hand 17-year-old wonderkid Man Utd debut against Everton
| Last updated
Erik ten Hag has hinted that 17-year-old Kobbie Mainoo could get his first start for Manchester United against Everton in their FA Cup meeting on Friday evening.
The news comes following an injury to Donny van de Beek which he sustained during his side's 3-0 victory over Bournemouth. The Dutchman will be bitterly disappointed to miss out on facing the Toffees, who he was on loan with last season.
However, his absence could open up a spot for teenage talent Kobbie Mainoo. The Englishman was among the substitutes for the Red Devils' latest win, and Ten Hag clearly admires the youngster.
Ten Hag on Kobbie Mainoo
The Manchester United boss was full of praise for Mainoo ahead of their match against Bournemouth, saying: "He's making good progress," Ten Hag told MUTV, "so it is also about competition."
"He is doing well and we think he can help us today and that is the only reason," he added.
The Dutchman clearly trusts his qualities, stating: “In a certain scenario we can bring him on and we are convinced he can do a job. He showed that many times now in training and also in the friendlies he played."
Mainoo came on during a friendly against Cadiz last month, levelling the scores within two minutes of his introduction. He will hope for a similar impact if he comes on against Everton.
Giving youth a chance
Zidane Iqbal is another teenager who may get some minutes. The 19-year-old impressed during pre-season, and has been an unused substitute ten times under Ten Hag.
With Christian Eriksen generally being deployed further forward in the side, a spot may open up for Iqbal alongside Casemiro. However, the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay could stand in his way, with neither getting regular minutes in the team as of late.
And with silverware on the line, the 52-year-old may opt for experience. That being said, the Red Devils face Charlton the following week in which the Dutch coach is expected to give youth a chance.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Everton, FA Cup, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Donny van de Beek