Erik Ten Hag explains decision to start Kobbie Mainoo vs Charlton

Manchester United are set to welcome League 1 Charlton to Old Trafford for Tuesday night’s EFL Cup quarter-final.

The Red Devils will be looking to book their place in the competition’s semi-final stage where an encounter against a fellow Premier League club, including rivals Manchester City, awaits.

But first things first, in order to reach the tournament’s penultimate round, Erik Ten Hag’s flying Red Devils must first navigate their way past Dean Holden’s Addicks.

Although the 20-time league winners are understandably huge favourites to progress past their third-division opponents, Ten Hag, who has named a relatively strong starting 11, is clearly not anything for granted.

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However, one name on the Dutchman’s starting lineup that has surprised fans is the inclusion of youth academy player Kobbie Mainoo.

The 17-year-old midfielder is set to make his first-team debut and will play alongside the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay.

Speaking about his decision to hand the talented teenager his first senior appearance, Ten Hag explained how the Stockport-born playmaker deserves his chance to play following an impressive mid-season tour.

“For him [Mainoo] it’s a great opportunity, he did very well during the winter camp in Spain,” Ten Hag told MUTV, as quoted by UtdReport.

“He also did very well against Everton in a friendly. He deserved to play, so I’m happy to give him the opportunity – it’s about deserving it.”

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