Manchester United picked up a big 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday to boost their Champions League hopes and there is more good news for midfield sensation Kobbie Mainoo
Manchester United are well and truly in the race to qualify for the Champions League, having enjoyed an excellent start to 2024.
Erik ten Hag’s side are unbeaten so far this year, having won five of their last six games across all competitions, and Sunday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa means they are now just six points off the top four.
United were unable to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window, but Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s purchase of a 25 per cent minority stake in the club could be ratified later this month after the deal was announced on Christmas Eve.
The Red Devils will be back in action on Sunday when they travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town and, with all that in mind, here’s a round-up of the latest news from Old Trafford.
Mainoo set for England promotion
Kobbie Mainoo has impressed for United so far this season, with the 18-year-old’s performances catching the eye of England boss Gareth Southgate.
Southgate said last week that Mainoo had enjoyed a “fabulous start to his career” and that England will continue to “monitor him as we go forward”. The Daily Star are now reporting that Southgate is ‘set to recommend Mainoo be called into the next England U21 squad’ for the first time.
However, if the teenager continues to star for United he could even be named in the full England squad next month when they take on Brazil and Belgium in a pair of friendly matches.
Solskjaer makes Rashford claim
Former Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes it is down to Marcus Rashford to get the best out of himself, with the forward coming in for criticism at times this season for both his on-field performances and off-field antics.
“I’m not sure it’s the manager’s job to get the best out of Marcus Rashford,” Solskjaer said. “Is it the manager’s job to get the best out of him? Or is it mostly himself, or any player’s responsibility to get the best out of yourself? That’s more important. It’s completely different, the way you talk to them [players] everyone has PR agencies and all these.
“Back in the day, if Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to speak to me, he rang my phone and he spoke to me or we spoke on the training ground. Now, we have to go through different agents and management which I find strange, because football is a game played by people, managed by people, and you need to be able to speak together, to connect, to get the best out of each other and to trust each other.”
After assisting the winning goal against Villa on Sunday with a brilliant cross, Diogo Dalot heaped praise on goalscorer Scott McTominay.
The midfielder is United’s top goalscorer in the league this season with seven and Dalot has hailed his attitude, branding McTominay the “perfect person” to have in the dressing room. “Every time he comes onto the pitch, he has that mentality of trying to score goals and trying to help the team,” Dalot said.
“We need this type of mentality at this club, and I think he is the perfect person to show this season that even coming from the bench, he always has a good impact.”
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