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Teenager Mainoo handed first England call-up

Kobbie Mainoo has been handed his first senior England call-up.

Manchester United’s 18-year-old midfielder was part of the Under-21s but has been drafted into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the March friendlies against Brazil and Belgium.

Mainoo’s late addition to the senior group follows an impressive performance against Liverpool in Sunday’s epic 4-3 FA Cup quarter-final win.

The rest of England’s now 26-player group reported to St George’s Park on Tuesday.

The England manager praised Mainoo last week when addressing his intial decision to leave him out of the squad.

Image: Mainoo has been called up the England senior side

“I think Kobbie is doing brilliantly for a young player,” said Southgate. “We’re never slow to put a young player into the seniors, but he’s only had a handful of games. You have to be careful in making those decisions at the right time, and ideally we should allow him the space to develop at his own speed.

“He’s not at the point in terms of number of games that Jude [Bellingham] or Bukayo [Saka] were when they first came in, but I repeat – he’s doing really well, he’s a good footballer, you can see that, and he’s getting some fabulous experience with Man Utd and looks a good character.”

Mainoo has represented England at U17 and U19 level but could make his senior international debut without having played for the U21s.

Updated England squad for March friendlies

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Crystal Palace), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal).

Defenders: Jarrad Branthwaite (Everton), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Lewis Dunk (Brighton), Joe Gomez (Liverpool), Ezri Konsa (Aston Villa), Harry Maguire (Man Utd), John Stones (Man City), Kyle Walker (Man City).

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Ajax), James Maddison (Tottenham), Declan Rice (Arsenal), Kobbie Mainoo (Man Utd).

Forwards: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Man City), Anthony Gordon (Newcastle), Harry Kane (Bayern Munich), Cole Palmer (Chelsea), Marcus Rashford (Man United), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford), Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa).

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source