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Phil Jones fires warning to Man Utd and England over Kobbie Mainoo

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PHIL JONES wants Manchester United and England to manage teenage midfielder Kobbie Mainoo carefully.

The 19-year-old has taken the Premier League by storm this season and earned a place in the Three Lions squad for Euro 2024.

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Phil Jones has issued Man Utd and England advice about a rising starCredit: Getty
Kobbie Mainoo has burst on the scene for both club and country

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Kobbie Mainoo has burst on the scene for both club and countryCredit: Getty

Former Red Devils defender Jones, 32, believes Mainoo is the most exciting talent to come through the academy at Carrington in many years.

But he says Mainoo’s games will need to be managed carefully to avoid future burnout.

Jones was rated as one of the best young players in the country when he joined United from Blackburn in 2011, aged 19.

He said: “I’m expecting Kobbie to play a key role at the Euros.

“Whether that’s from the start or the bench, I certainly expect him to play his part.

“I just hope he’s managed properly. Managing a player like him, at his age, is so important.

“I played a lot when I was younger, and whether or not that had an impact on the later stages of my career, I don’t know.

“Hopefully he’s managed well, in terms of his training load and game time.

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“There’ll be moments where you’re just going to have to take him out of the team, not because of his performances, but because you need to look after him and wrap him in cotton wool.

“We need to be thinking about the need for Kobbie Mainoo in five or six years from now, not just the need for him here and now.

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“If you can manage him well, then we’re talking about an amazing talent.”

Mainoo crowned his fine debut season by scoring the winner in May’s FA Cup final 2-1 win over Manchester City.

But even before then, Jones was a fan. The former centre-half — plagued by injury in the latter part of his career — told Ladbrokes 1-2-Free: “I don’t think I’ve seen a young man come through United’s academy and make an impact like he has in a very long time.

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“And I don’t just think it’s what he does on the pitch but off it as well.

“He’s such a humble guy, he’s so intelligent.

“There’s been so much change behind the scenes . . . and this kid has just taken to the team like a duck to water. He has the world at his feet.

“To go into a game of that magnitude against City, who everyone expected to roll United over 4-0 or 5-0 — how he handled that occasion was just incredible.”

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