Kobbie Mainoo has quietly solved England’s age-old midfield problem | Jonathan Liew

Teenager has played with uncanny maturity and offers the sort of control on the ball that has long eluded the team

Hang on, roll the tape back. Play it again. Shock as Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford left out of England squad. England players using £421 smart ring to boost Euros hopes. Fury over Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer comments on podcast. Some men throw beer cups at Gareth Southgate (and miss). Jude Bellingham in hot water over “obscene gesture”. Nineteen-year-old runs England midfield in first international tournament. Bellingham fined over “obscene gesture” but escapes ban. Southgate hits back at critics. Southgate fumes over tactical “leaks” in media.

Did you spot it? Did you need another look? Like the famous viral video of the moonwalking bear, there are times when it’s easy to get lost in the noise, in the distractions, to follow the loose threads, and ignore something quite unusual happening right in your field of vision. Like Kobbie Mainoo, who in the time it took you to read this paragraph has already played three passes and slipped down the defender’s blind side to make himself available for the return.

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