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Dimitar Berbatov on what he thinks Kobbie Mainoo needs to do to go to Euro 2024

Dimitar Berbatov on what he thinks Kobbie Mainoo needs to do to go to Euro 2024Getty Images
He has impressed in his breakthrough season at Old Trafford.

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov believes that Kobbie Mainoo should be in the Euro 2024 squad for England if he continues to play as he has been.

Mainoo has been instrumental in the mini-resurgence of United under Erik ten Hag in recent weeks, and they look to have a decent chance of securing Europa League football, even if the top four spots are probably out of reach for this season.

Aged just 18, there are calls for Mainoo to be taken to the European Championships this summer by Gareth Southgate, and Berbatov thinks the teenager only needs to maintain his current standards to deserve inclusion.

He told Betfair: “I saw some of the pundits in the UK were calling for Mainoo to be in consideration for the England squad. My opinion has not changed; we shouldn't overhype young players that are playing well for their club, but at the same time, if he continues his form, then it won't be a bad idea to include him in the 23-man squad.

“If Gareth Southgate has other ideas and he's not pressured by public opinion despite seeing the quality in Mainoo, maybe he will take him for the experience, but in his mind it's too early to include him in the team. It might be beneficial just to soak in all the experience, to be around other players that have been there for a long time. That could be a way to go.

“If not, and if the manager includes him in the squad, then Mainoo would have earned his place based on his current form. But again, be careful. We've witnessed a lot of great talents in the past that have done well and then they've gone downhill.

“I was 19 years old when I first made it into the Bulgaria squad. I got the feeling of what it's like to represent your country. You get to see the players that have been there longer than you, and you need to learn and listen.

“You soak in the experience and be as professional as possible. I remember the original Ronaldo's first World Cup where Romario and Bebeto played up front, but Ronaldo didn't play a minute in the tournament, but he was there around these great legends. We all saw what happened with Ronaldo in the end!”

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