Mainoo, who doesn’t turn 19 until April, has been one of the breakout stars of this Premier League season, playing with an experience beyond his years for the Red Devils.
The England youth international, who is already on Gareth Southgate’s radar, made headlines with a stunning goal to earn United a dramatic 4-3 win at Wolves earlier this month.
Mainoo’s development has been helped by the return to fitness of 31-year-old five-time Champions League winner Casemiro.
At a press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa, Ten Hag admitted he was glad to have Casemiro available selection again and his influence will benefit Mainoo.
“I am happy he [Casemiro] is back,” Ten Hag said. “For Kobbie, he can learn a lot from him. Kobbie is very coachable and Casemiro has so much experience, Kobbie will learn a lot from it and that will accelerate his development. I am happy to have him and when they play together they can benefit from each other.”
Ten Hag was then asked if Casemiro and Mainoo have a strong relationship, to which he replied: “Absolutely, Casemiro takes that responsibility, he takes it to him, he’s talking to him. I see it in the dressing room, I see it on the pitch, on the training ground, in games. He is looking at his own game but he is looking to help and support Kobbie.”
United’s visit to Villa Park could have huge ramifications on their pursuit of a Champions League place. Ten Hag’s side head into the game nine points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, while victory for Villa would see them leapfrog Spurs and open up an 11-point gap on United.