Fans think Kobbie Mainoo is a future captain after seeing his reaction to being substituted

Kobbie Mainoo’s reaction to being substituted in the 81st minute of Manchester United’s dramatic Premier League win over Aston Villa has gone viral.

The 18-year-old Stockport-born midfielder was handed his third consecutive start by Erik ten Hag on a cold Tuesday night at Old Trafford, and he didn’t disappoint.

He dictated the tempo in midfield areas, especially in the second half as United battled to comeback from two goals behind.

And despite being paired with Christian Eriksen, who has been known to struggle when it comes to the defensive side of things, he looked at ease in a single pivot.

Mainoo may have come up against arguably one of the best midfielders in the league this season, Douglas Luiz, but his composure and maturity were there for all to see.

After helping United level the tie following a second-half brace from Alejandro Garnacho, Mainoo was replaced by fellow midfielder Scott McTominay.

And as he made his way to the Old Trafford bench with ten minutes remaining, the impressive teenager applauded a section of home fans before waving his arms in the air to get them fired up.

Mainoo also screamed “Come on!” before being recognised for his performance by Erik ten Hag.

Here’s how fans on social media reacted to the above clip.

One said: “That’s our future captain right there,” while another commented: “The kid actually understands what it truly means to play for Manchester United.”

A third wrote: “Proper proper player, he shouldn’t have to be doing this much at 18 but he’s been comfortably our best midfielder since returning from injury.”

A fourth added: “Mainoo is an unbelievable talent, but it’s so clear the lad has character too. Genuinely, the kind of things like riling up the crowd when getting subbed off is great to see.”

Even teammate Alejandro Garnacho got involved in the action. The Argentine ‘liked’ a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that read: “Mainoo is our future captain.”

Like many United supporters, Erik ten Hag has been suitably impressed by the teenager’s breakthrough campaign.

After their 0-0 draw against Liverpool earlier this month, Ten Hag was full of praise for Mainoo. “If you are good enough, you are old enough and he proved that,” the Dutch manager said.

“When he gets used more often to those games, we will get even more joy from it. Because then his scanning and his speed of action, he can get such passes, three or four passes in and get switches in, and he is the player who can really hurt opponents.”

Mainoo, who has made eight appearances for the Reds this season, will likely feature for Manchester United when they travel to Nottingham Forest on December 30.

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