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Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo has earned a spot in Gareth Southgate’s senior England squad for the March internationals.

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Despite being initially omitted from the 25-man squad, the 18-year-old’s impressive performances at club level prompted his inclusion. Southgate had refrained from rushing Mainoo into the senior setup, preferring not to burden him with excessive pressure early in his career.

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Initially slated for the Under-21 squad, Mainoo’s elevation to the senior team was confirmed by England. He joins the squad for the upcoming friendlies without replacing any injured players, as the original 25-man roster convened at St George’s Park on Tuesday.

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Mainoo, who has previously represented England from Under-17 to Under-19 levels, is now poised to skip Under-21 duty and vie for his debut at the senior level.

This promotion marks another milestone in Mainoo’s breakthrough season. Despite a brief setback due to an ankle injury, he made a significant impact upon his return to action for Manchester United. Under the guidance of Erik ten Hag, Mainoo has amassed 20 appearances across all competitions, including 14 starts in the Premier League.

While Southgate initially advocated caution regarding Mainoo’s debut, likening his situation to those of Bukayo Saka and Jude Bellingham, the midfielder now has the opportunity to earn his first cap in the forthcoming friendlies against Brazil and Belgium, both to be held at Wembley Stadium.

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