Roy Keane labeled Kobbie Mainoo’s display for Manchester United in their 3-0 win over Everton as “outstanding”, while Bruno Fernandes snubbed Alejandro Garnacho in favour of the teenager.
Mainoo missed the start of the season having suffered an ankle injury in pre-season, but returned to make his first ever start at Goodison Park on Sunday.
After the game, when asked about the 18-year-old’s performance, Keane could barely control his excitement.
“Unbelievable,” Keane told Sky Sports.
“We don’t want to get too carried away but I’m sure we will.
“He looked like he always had time on the ball today, his decision-making, in terms of when to go long when to go short, in terms of off the ball as well. What an all-round performance.
“The club obviously think highly of him. With the build-up to the game today, coming to Everton, for the manager to put him in, he and the staff around the place obviously must trust him.
“Good luck to the kid. He was outstanding. It’s a great start for him. Let’s hope he stays injury-free and gets a run of games for Man United because he looked a Man United type of player.
“Nice and brave, lots of courage. I loved watching him.”
During his commentary on the game for Sky Sports, Gary Neville added: “There’s an 18-year-old out there who looks more composed than anyone.
“Mainoo has been Manchester United’s best player by a street. A brilliant, brilliant Premier League debut from him.”
Alejandro Garnacho was handed the Man of the Match award after his stunning bicycle kick opened the scoring, but captain Fernandes claimed the award should have gone to Mainoo, who has “too much quality” for a player of his age.
He said: “Great game, for me man of the match, a great performance and secure on the ball and never puts a foot wrong.
“He is always ready to help, for his age he has too much quality.
“He sees the play before and did so many good things today he was secure on the ball.”