Kobbie Mainoo already developing important skill as Man Utd’s FA Cup hero shows his drive

Kobbie Mainoo celebrating Man Utd's FA Cup win
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Kobbie Mainoo demonstrated his determination to keep learning off the pitch – as well as on it – by taking up a new language during his extended injury layoff last year.

Despite a season that's been less than stellar for the club, with the exception of their FA Cup success, the 19-year-old has emerged as a beacon of hope. He's solidified his position as a key player in Manchester United's midfield and looks set to be on the plane to Germany for the Euros.

However, it has been overlooked that Mainoo's season kicked off on a sour note. He sustained an injury on the pre-season tour in the USA and was sidelined until late November. Nevertheless, the Stockport-born talent took advantage of the downtime to start learning Spanish, reports the Mirror.

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"I started Spanish lessons on Zoom just to pass the time a bit," Mainoo told The Guardian. "It's tough to keep doing them now with the schedule being so busy but now it's into summer I'll try to pick it up again because I enjoyed it."

Once he regained his fitness, Mainoo had to pause his language studies as he quickly became an indispensable part of Erik ten Hag's team. His impressive form led to an England call-up, and he now has a good shot at partnering Declan Rice in Gareth Southgate's midfield this summer.

In a fitting turn of events, it was Mainoo's decisive goal and man of the match display against Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday that transformed United's lacklustre season into a somewhat memorable one, perfectly rounding off an impressive individual campaign.

Kobbie Mainoo hobbling off injured
Mainoo missed four months of the season after getting crocked during United's pre-season tour of the USA -Credit:GETTY

Mainoo has been part of United's family since he was nine, having joined the academy in 2014. His rapid progression through the ranks led to him being offered a professional contract as soon as he turned 17 in 2022.

Just a few months later, Ten Hag invited him to train with the first team, and he found himself on the bench for United's match against Newcastle in October. However, his debut didn't come until January 2023, when he started in a 3-0 victory over Charlton in the EFL Cup.

His Premier League debut came a month later against Leicester, but he only managed one more appearance before the end of the 2022/23 season. Nevertheless, after impressing Ten Hag during the pre-season break, a clear path to first team football was laid out for him, even though it took some time for him to start making strides down it.