Could the youngster make England’s squad for this summer’s Euros? (Picture: Getty)
The 18-year-old followed up his stunning, stoppage-time winner against Wolves in midweek with another excellent display against West Ham on Sunday, once again showcasing his precocious ability and composure on the ball.
Mainoo has not even represented England at Under-21 level yet but there are already calls for him to be in the next Three Lions squad in March – particularly with Ghana circling and England regulars Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Henderson both struggling.
While Ferdinand is a massive fan of the young United midfielder – even comparing him to Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf – he is not convinced Southgate will be in any rush to call him up to the senior team, particularly after spending Saturday watching Henderson play for Ajax against PSV.
Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand said: ‘I’ve seen some people saying, “Oh, Mainoo is better than Makelele”. Please don’t get it twisted.
‘This kid is on the start of his journey, he’s not Makelele. He’s nowhere on the stratosphere of being anything like him yet. We can’t compare him to any of these guys.
‘You can talk about who he looks similar to. I think he plays similar to someone like Seedorf, that’s who I look at in his game. I’m not saying he’s as good as any of them, or he’s going to be as good as them, but [I see similarities].
‘If Mainoo gets anywhere near someone like Seedorf he will be thanking the Lord saying, “Thank you very much for this career”. Seedorf is one of the most undervalued and underappreciated footballers on the planet.
Mainoo is part of an emerging young core of talent at United (Picture: Getty)
‘But you’re OK to say he gives vibes like Seedorf. Look at the goal he scored [against Wolves], that was twinkletoes, light-on-your-feet Seedorf. Balance, bit of strength, he looked like him the way he moved and the way he gets out of tight situations off both feet.
‘You can say he looks like him a little bit. But he ain’t him, he ain’t at that level yet. He’s got a long way to go but he’s giving those vibes.’
On whether he expects Mainoo to make England’s squad for the Euros, Ferdinand replied bluntly: ‘No. Southgate ain’t bringing my man. Southgate was in Ajax, he was watching Henderson. He was at Ajax.
‘I’ve got some mad stats. You’ve asked if Mainoo will have a chance of going to the Euros this year and obviously the England manager was in Holland watching Ajax watching Jordan Henderson play.
‘But if you look at it, the other games that went on this weekend when the England manager was in Holland: there were 18 English players featuring in the Newcastle-Luton game. There were 12 in the Everton-Spurs game. There were 10 in the Brighton-Palace game and five in the Burnley-Fulham game. And then 12 in the Sheffield United-Aston Villa game. And there was one in Holland.
‘When you put it like that it’s mad isn’t it, it’s crazy. Does the manager really need to look at Henderson? “Are you fit or not? Yeah? You’re coming.” That’s it. That’s all it’s got to be, that’s what it’s about. I’d take him.’
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