Man United’s Kobbie Mainoo reminds me of Michael Essien - Claude Makelele

Ex-France international Claude Makelele has said Manchester United and England youngster Kobbie Mainoo reminds him of Michael Essien.

Claude Makelele compares Man United’s Kobbie Mainoo to Michael Essien

Similar to Mainoo, Essien also burst on the scene as a teenager at Bastia in the Ligue 1 before joining Olympique Lyon, where he won two French league titles.

He then secured a dream move to Chelsea and established himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

Essien played alongside Makelele in the Blues’ midfield assembled by Jose Mourinho, with the pair helping the club to win two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup.

Mainoo was also a breakout star in the English topflight last season, where he made 33 appearances in all competitions.

The 19-year-old also scored in the FA Cup final as Erik ten Hag’s side beat rivals Manchester City 2-1 to lift their second major trophy in two seasons under the Dutchman.

Mainoo has since earned a call-up to the England national team and is set to play a huge part of Gareth Southgate’s side at the 2024 European Championship.

Reacting to Mainoo’s meteoric rise, Makelele said he’d love to see the Manchester United prodigy play with Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in the Three Lions’ midfield at the Euros.

"In England's midfield, I would go for Rice, Bellingham, and this boy in Manchester [Mainoo]. He is very good, so young, but he has demonstrated that he can play. He is young but has quality. I think he will add some spice to the midfield,” Makelele told Daily Mail.

Asked about which midfielder Mainoo reminds him of, Makelele added: “I would say Michael Essien. He needs to learn more from Michael Essien.

“He is young, you know, and he has a great future ahead of him. Good dribbler, running, fighting. I won’t say he’s like me but he can be. But I see him progressing and he can be a very good midfielder for the national team.”

Meanwhile, Makelele is widely regarded as one of the greatest defensive midfielders to ever play the game.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: