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Kobbie Mainoo must start for England at Euro 2024! Classy Man Utd midfielder can take Three Lions to the next level

It was the European Championship final at Wembley, Leonardo Bonucci had equalised for Italy and England had lost their slender advantage from Luke Shaw's early goal, as well as the visceral energy that had fuelled them in the first half.

They needed to be intelligent and find a way to regain the lead. But all they could do was launch long balls towards the wings and Harry Kane. That was exactly what Roberto Mancini's side want them to do. Bonucci and his partner-in-crime Giorgio Chiellini ate up the long balls, while when Bukayo Saka tried to out-run the latter, he was hurled to the floor.

The drained England players could only pass the ball side to side or go long, and it became clear that their best hope was to play for penalties, where they were agonisingly beaten. What they desperately needed then was a player who could shrug off the pressure of the big occasion, the knowledge of 50 million people watching at home and in the pubs, and take hold of the ball and make things happen with it.

In essence, what they needed was Kobbie Mainoo. Back then, the Manchester United midfielder was 16 and still in school. But now he is in the England team and going to the European Championship. And he should not just be going along for the ride; he should be starting every game.

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