Kobbie Mainoo makes feelings clear on Wayne Rooney demand as Jude Bellingham point made

Kobbie Mainoo of England during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Serbia and England
-Credit: (Image: Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)


Kobbie Mainoo has responded to Wayne Rooney's suggestion that he should be starting for England at Euro 2024.

The Manchester United midfielder came off the bench in England's Group C clash against Serbia on Sunday evening. Jude Bellingham scored the only goal as Gareth Southgate's side won 1-0 in Gelsenkirchen.

Former United captain Rooney shared his belief that Mainoo should be starting for Southgate's team in Germany. The England legend stated that Trent Alexander Arnold will be caught out defensively against better teams as the tournament progresses.

"No. I have watched Trent play in midfield a few times and I think you lose a lot of his qualities. His delivery is obviously incredible and of course he can pick passes from midfield, but I think he has to fight it out [with Walker for the right-back spot]," Rooney said on The Overlap.

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"I know Kyle is the best right-back in the world at the minute but I think midfield is such an important position. I would play Mainoo before Trent in midfield, 100%.

"It’s not that Trent can’t play there, we saw him do it recently against Everton and some of the passes he was hitting were unbelievable. It’s probably only Becks [ David Beckham ] who beats him in that area. But I think to play in midfield, you need that discipline, especially when you come up against the bigger teams, and he might get found out a little bit."

And Mainoo has now responded to Rooney's comments, telling reporters at Tuesday's pre-match press conference that he is ready to play in England's game against Denmark on Thursday.

"I'm ready to play, whether that's off the bench or starting," the 19-year-old said. "Obviously, there's other great midfielders in the squad in the Premier League or abroad like Jude [Bellingham]. I'm trying to train hard and be ready when I'm called upon."