Next Mainoo? Ten Hag has already found another Man Utd academy star ready for first-team

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag against Fulham.

Erik ten Hag has a way of bringing out the best from his youngsters at Man Utd Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Erik ten Hag may have found the next Kobbie Mainoo already if hints from the FA Cup final are anything to go by.

Youngsters have been the redemptive joy of Ten Hag’s Manchester United campaign. The season saw many of the gaffer’s most experienced hands suffer a string of injuries, and the club had to resort to their academy on multiple occasions.

Despite that, settled talents Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo as well as emerging youngsters in the form of Amad Diallo truly scripted not just the FA Cup victory but the season itself.

As such, the former Ajax man, if permitted to take charge of Man Utd in a continued fashion after the summer, could do well to develop the success of these youngsters as well as find more gems from the youth ranks.

In this regard, the manager may have gotten down to business already.

Man Utd talent Toby Collyer catches Erik ten Hag’s attention

The Man Utd faithful still vividly remember how Erik ten Hag embraced Kobbie Mainoo after the side’s League Cup final win over Newcastle in 2023.

In a similar fashion, the gaffer was seen deep in conversation with Toby Collyer after the FA Cup win.

According to the Telegraph, Collyer is “regarded as a player with first-team potential.” The 20-year-old defensive midfielder, who joined the club’s academy from Brighton and Hove Albion, is a highly rated talent.

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The academy talent was also named on the bench against Crystal Palace earlier this month.

Considering Ten Hag’s gesture and the aforementioned report concerning Collyer’s potential, it wouldn’t surprise many if he follows Mainoo’s footsteps and establishes himself in the senior fold, sooner than later.