Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has stated that midfielder Scott McTominay needs to put in the extra effort if he is to force his way back into the clubs starting XI. At times this season, McTominay has been a true professional and in a period that saw Paul Pogba out of action for much of the season, was playing a lot of football. However, since the restart, the form McTominay had has gone. Criticism is something that will always be part of the game and can be warranted.
At the end of December 2019, McTominay suffered from a knee injury which kept him out of 12 matches, returning almost two months later, just before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. Of course, when he returned, Pogba was still not playing and Bruno Fernandes has been signed and United were playing a better brand of football. McTominay scored that goal at Old Trafford against Manchester City, seeing the Red Devils beat their rivals 2-0 in the league, doing the double over them.
The arrival of Fernandes, the return from injury of Pogba and the form of Nemanja Matic has left McTominay on the bench more often than not and since the restart, has not had the same thing about him after he had before the coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the player will be able to force his way back into contention with hard work on the training ground, it will need to be something that happens sooner rather than later with United linked with many midfielders this summer.
McTominay has a good career ahead of him but he will not be happy to remain on the bench most of the time. With better players coming to the club, it will always be tough for others but that is raising the bar and allowing the players the time and grace to grow, fighting for their places in the team, which in turn will raise the game and be good for the club. McTominay is not a player that will accept defeat, he has fought on the pitch and will do so to get back into the team. Speaking to Betfair and reported by The Mirror, Berbatov said:
“It’s interesting to see Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] rely on this 11, and it shows these are the main guys, with some exceptional talent.
“Other players are getting chances, but there is a clear hierarchy now between starters and subs. This isn’t permanent and shouldn’t be.
“Take Scott McTominay, he is on the bench now, so he needs to work very hard to get into the starting XI.
“He needs to stay after training, show he’s willing to put in the extra effort. Ole will see and appreciate this. Scott can do it because he is a very talented boy.”
This season, McTominay has made a total of 37 appearances for United, scoring five goals and one assist which is an improvement from his 22 appearances, scoring two goals and no assists during the 2018/19 season. At 23, the player still has time to grow but seems to be a bit more talented than Andreas Pereira, who has been afforded a lot of time at United, not actually proving anything. McTominay is a player that will fight for a result and has done so this season. He is capable of a lot and will regain his form and challenge the likes of Pogba, Matic and possibly Fernandes.
Written by John Walker