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Mainoo hopes to show Eriksen’s influence against the Danes

Kobbie Mainoo hopes to use the tips he learned from his Man United teammate Christian Eriksen if he is given the chance to play against Denmark.

The 19-year-old came off the bench for England’s Group C opener, Sunday’s 1-0 win over Serbia, and insists he is ready to play against the Danes in Frankfurt on Thursday (5pm BST).

The midfielder played 24 of United’s 25 Premier League games last season and started the youngest goalscorer in an FA Cup final in 60 years when his side beat rivals Man City at Wembley last month.

Much of this appeared to come from Eriksen, who moved to Old Trafford in 2022, at the same time Mainoo broke into the first team under Erik ten Hag.

Speaking at a press conference in England before the match, Mainoo said he was looking forward to facing Eriksen and his Man United teammate Rasmus Hojland.

“Both are my best friends,” he said. “Rasmus is still young like me so I am always close to him. I try to learn and take from Christ.

“If I’m going to play on Thursday, I’ll have to put you in a team that will compete against him and hopefully I’ll win.”

Mainoo won his fourth 85 titleth-substitute at the minute and is already focused on number five.

“I am ready to play, whether I come off the bench or start,” he said. “Obviously there are other strong midfielders in the team. I try to train hard and be ready when called upon.

“(Declan Rice) is a very good player, reliable and dominant in midfield so when I play with him it’s always nice to have someone strong with the ball around you.”

“(Playing next to him) relieves me a lot and allows me to go forward and attack and trust him to be there. It’s a dream.”

It’s not just Rice and veterans like Eriksen who are influencing Mainoo, the youngster has revealed that 20-year-old Jude Bellingham is setting standards in the England camp.

“Everyone knows what a great player he is. We see it every day in training here. He’s a good guy too. You want. He has high standards for himself. Playing with him is great. he deserves it, so he is a Ballon d’Or player,” he said.

Mainoo also praised his Old Trafford manager Hag for helping him to two pieces of silverware in his first two seasons at the club, with the 2023 EFL Cup preceding the FA Cup last season.

The Dutchman will continue to lead next season after speculation in the summer and Mainoo added: “I’m happy to build with him, I have two trophies and hopefully more to come. There is peace of mind knowing which manager we have when we return.

“I thank him very much, he trusted me a lot by playing in the team. I can’t thank him enough.”

Stockport-born Mainoo also admitted he had considered playing for Ghana, the country of his parents’ birth, before being called up to England by Gareth Southgate for a friendly against Brazil in March.

“I am proud of my Ghanaian background,” he said, “but it has always been a dream to play in England.” I’m glad to be here. I have thought about it, but I want to play for England.”

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