Home Sport Man Utd have another Kobbie Mainoo already breaking senior international records

Man Utd have another Kobbie Mainoo already breaking senior international records

Kobbie Mainoo was the talk of the international break for his England senior breakthrough, earning his first two caps against Brazil and Belgium after a late call-up. But while the spotlight was on Mainoo’s performances at Wembley Stadium, another teenage Manchester United midfielder made history overseas.

James Scanlon has contributed to United’s U18 dominance this season, making 17 appearances for the runaway league leaders across all competitions.

The 17-year-old has also featured five times for the U21s in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy and is expected to sign a long-term, professional contract once his scholarship ends.

In the background of Mainoo’s exploits for Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions, Scanlon also arrived on the international scene by becoming the first United player to represent Gibraltar.

Scanlon was used as a 74th-minute substitute in both UEFA Nations League relegation play-off legs against Lithuania, catching the eye as Gibraltar fell to 1-0 defeats in both.

After a short stay in the competition’s third tier, the nation will face Liechtenstein and San Marino in League D Group 1 later this year.

But Scanlon’s history-making cameos provided a positive silver lining and added to the promising United starlet’s experience.

Scanlon, an attacking midfielder who can also operate on either wing, has earned praise for his directiveness and creativity on the ball and hard work off it.

He joined United from Derby County in 2021, having grown up in the Midlands, and will be able to switch international allegiances to England if he plays no more than three competitive games for Gibraltar before turning 21.

Scanlon’s Gibraltar roots stem from his mother, Gabriella, a former athlete who holds the nation’s record for the women’s 4×100 metre relay.

According to The Athletic, reports back from the Gibraltar camp claimed he had settled into a senior setting faultlessly, which bodes well for Erik ten Hag.

“It’s a proud evening for me but a disappointing result,” Scanlon told Gibraltar’s official website after his debut.

“My goals from here are to just keep progressing with my game and to have a big impact in whichever team I play. I think that’s a good aim for me.”

Scanlon would do incredibly well to enjoy a similar trajectory to Mainoo, who looks destined for a successful future at the heart of United and England’s midfielders.

But the teenage talent’s international achievements and displays at youth level will have undoubtedly shown up on Ten Hag’s radar. A first-team call-up, even just for training, could be just around the corner.


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