Man Utd ace Kobbie Mainoo misses training ahead of Brentford clash | Football

Manchester United starlet Kobbie Mainoo missed training on Thursday (Picture: Getty)

Kobbie Mainoo came down with an illness and was forced to miss Manchester United first-team training on Thursday, though Erik ten Hag is hopeful the midfielder could feature against Brentford this weekend.

The 18-year-old academy product has burst onto the scene this season and been one of United’s shining lights of an otherwise disappointing campaign, with the club languishing down in sixth in the Premier League table.

After missing out on Gareth Southgate’s initial 25-man squad for England’s Euro 2024 warm-up matches against Brazil and Belgium, the teenager was promoted from the Under-21s and returned to Manchester this week with his first two senior caps.

Despite being on the pitch for just 74 minutes of the Three Lions’ 2-2 draw with Belgium, Mainoo came away from Wembley with the man-of-the-match award after an accomplished performance in the middle of the park.

Before the international break, Mainoo started United’s three matches against Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool and had been expected to continue his run in the side away to Brentford this weekend.

But according to Samuel Luckhurst of The Manchester Evening News, Mainoo began feeling unwell earlier this week and sat out United’s training session on Thursday.

Mainoo did report for training at Carrington on Friday, though, and Ten Hag hopes to be able to use the youngster at the Gtech Community Stadium, with the Red Devils seeking a second straight win in the top flight.

The midfielder has made 14 appearances in the Premier League this term and scored a crucial last-gasp goal in United’s dramatic 4-3 victory away to Wolves last month.

Kobbie Mainoo and Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag is hopeful the teenager could play a part at Brentford (Picture: Getty)

Addressing to the media ahead of United’s trip to Brentford, Ten Hag revealed he had spoken to Mainoo about trying to keep his feet on the ground after his meteoric rise in recent months.

‘So far he’s handled the situation very well. If he gets carried away, of course, me as a manager and we as coaches, we will intervene,’ the United head coach told reporters.

‘But so far it is not necessary because he wants to play football, he wants to win, he wants to give his best every day.

‘He wants to improve and just have fun on the pitch. Fun for him is to play dominant, to dictate the game and win the game.’

The Red Devils sit sixth in the table ahead of their trip to Brentford (Picture: Getty)

Ten Hag has waxed lyrical about Mainoo’s character both on and off the pitch this season and was ‘not surprised’ how quickly he adapted to international football after his shock promotion from the U21s.

‘I thought it was very good but we are not surprised. We know what he is capable of, he can very quickly adapt to high levels. It looks very natural and we are very happy for him,’ the Dutchman added.

‘Of course, we are also very [proud], it’s great for the academy of Manchester United to bring up a player so young going into the national team, it’s a big compliment for the whole club.

‘For himself because he did it but also all the ones who worked with him during his time in the academy, it’s very good news for Manchester United.’

Martinez could make his return at the Gtech Community Stadium (Picture: Getty)

There are hopes Lisandro Martinez could play a role for the first time in eight weeks against Brentford this weekend.

The Argentina defender has been working his way back from a medial collateral ligament injury and missed United’s last seven matches in all competitions.

‘Yes, there is a chance [back in squad],’ Ten Hag replied when asked for an update on Martinez’s fitness.

‘We have missed him every game because he brings a composure in the team, a calmness in the team.

‘At the same time, a winning attitude and he can express this very clearly.

‘He can transfer that into the team and that contributes a lot to our levels.’

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