A compilation of Kobbie Mainoo's cool, calm and collected performance against title contenders Liverpool has been doing the rounds on social media – and for good reason.
At the age of 18 years, seven months and 26 days, Stockport-born midfielder Mainoo became the youngest Manchester United player in history to start a Premier League game against Liverpool.
With only 194 first-team minutes under his belt before Sunday's game. the teenager didn't look out of place as he came in to replace the suspended Bruno Fernandes.
In fact, the teenager wasn't fazed by Anfield one bit. He not only looked comfortable in possession but completed all of his tackles and blocks against Jurgen Klopp's vastly experienced side.
Erik ten Hag was full of praise for Mainoo after the full-time whistle. "If you are good enough, you are old enough and he proved that,” he said in his post-match press conference.
Kobbie Mainoo is a 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 talent ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/Wq036e5Exv— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) December 17, 2023
He added: “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."
Here's how fans on social media reacted to his performance at Anfield.
One said: "I think it’s safe to say Kobbie Mainoo is ready to start games regularly for United. Such an impressive start to his senior career. Sensational performance. Feel significantly less safe now he’s off the pitch. ETH’s best midfield by a country mile this evening."
A second wrote: "Kobbie Mainoo is a special talent. United have to incorporate him more and protect him. He’s the only midfielder they have that can remain calm in possession and not hoof the ball. Spectacular performance."
A third commented: "Kobbie Mainoo is so good that not even Manchester United can make him look bad. I don't think you understand how impressive that is," while a fourth wrote: "Oh, btw, Kobbie Mainoo is going right to the very top, he's the real deal."
A fifth added: "Kobbie Mainoo has to start EVERY game."
Mainoo was also singled out for praise by former Manchester United defender Quinton Fortune in his post-match assessment.
“So much composure. Every time he got the ball he tried to find a United player. That’s what you want. From what I’ve seen he’s an unbelievable player," Fortune told MUTV.
“He hardly gives the ball away. It’s huge. Especially playing for Manchester United in that position. 18-years-old coming into the team, with the situation at the moment, the kid is just way ahead of his time. At the moment he’s one of our best players.
“He’s always on the half-turn, one of the hardest things to coach. He’s a natural receiving the ball. So calm for 18, unbelievable.”