Manchester United’s perfect pre-season record continues after they convincingly defeated Arsenal with a 2-0 result at the MetLife Stadium.
Beyond the result itself, there were several positives for United fans and boss Erik Ten Hag to take from this match.
Goals from captain Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho were enough to seal the deal in normal time, followed by a victory on penalties.
In front of a sell-out crowd of Arsenal and United fans in New York, Ten Hag’s side made proceedings uncomfortable for the Gunners with their pressing and front-foot approach.
The players themselves received much praise for their performance.
One player who particularly stood out was 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo, who started the game and dazzled in midfield against Arsenal. His impressive performance drew attention and excitement from the fans and coaching staff, showcasing his potential and talent at such a young age.
The compilation produced by a United fan has gone viral on Twitter, showcasing the vast array of Kobbie Mainoo’s talents as a midfielder.
It appears as though the club may have found their own young version of Frenkie de Jong, a long-standing target for Manchester United.
Mainoo’s awareness and intelligence in dropping deep to receive the ball under pressure and then turning into space behind are highly encouraging to watch.
Moreover, his composure and passing ability were equally impressive. His influence was felt all over the pitch, and he played a major role in both of United’s goals.
In the first goal, Mainoo received the ball from a well-placed goal-kick by Tom Heaton high up the pitch and quickly spun away from pressure to lay the ball off to Fernandes, who scored from distance.
His ability to initiate the attack from deep positions and contribute to goal-scoring opportunities is a promising sign for United’s midfield options.
Kobbie Mainoo vs Arsenal – Starboy pic.twitter.com/GvsekZnUtE
— MUFC MARCUS 🇶🇦 (@MarcusKnowsBall) July 23, 2023
Indeed, Kobbie Mainoo’s impact was not limited to the first goal, as he played a crucial role in setting up Jadon Sancho’s goal as well.
His lofted clearance under pressure created a difficult bounce for the Arsenal defenders, allowing Sancho to take advantage of the situation and use his pace and precision to score past Aaron Ramsdale.
Mainoo’s performances during pre-season, particularly against Leeds and Arsenal, have showcased his considerable talents and potential.
With Manchester United’s successful pre-season so far, Mainoo’s impressive displays only strengthen the case for him to receive regular minutes during the upcoming season.
Erik Ten Hag and the coaching staff may see Mainoo as an integral part of the squad, and if he continues to show such promise, he could be a valuable asset in midfield for Manchester United as they compete in various competitions throughout the season.
The fans and the club will undoubtedly be excited to see how this young talent continues to develop and contribute to the team’s success.