Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, 23, could be set for a new role at the Old Trafford club following the arrival of both Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek this year. The two attacking midfielders will most likely see the 23-year-old find his feet in a new midfield role which is likely to be a defensive midfield role. United recently rewarded Nemanja Matic, 32, with a new contract at the club, which will probably be his last at United before retirement. The Serbian has already retired from international football this summer.
The Athletic has reported that United have a hole in the defensive area of the midfield with just Matic as the defensive minded midfielder also citing that the clubs failed pursuit of Jude Bellingham is also reason for McTominay being put into his new role at the club. The 23-year-old has played a defensive role at the club in his breakthrough season under Jose Mourinho but will probably need some assistance to find his feet in the position, which is where Matic could come in.
Matic, 32, is not going to be an option for every match but could offer something coming off the bench, or starting in the bigger matches with McTominay playing other matches with him more able to recover between matches with United set to play out the full 2020/21 season in a shorter period of time, playing in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, UEFA Champions League and the Emirates FA Cup. It is something that could work well for United, if McTominay finds his feet in the new position.
Matic would be seen as the ideal mentor for McTominay which could see him thrive in the position. He is a physical player and during the 2019/20 season, especially when Paul Pogba was injured before the end of 2019, showed what he could do for his club and got stuck into various midfield roles, playing alongside Matic and Fred in the centre of midfield. Since Fernandes has arrived though, McTominay has more often been a substitute, playing in the advanced areas but not doing all that well.
Throughout the course of the 2019/20 season, McTominay made a total of 37 appearances for United, scoring five goals and one assist. His best goal came against Manchester City, scoring a late long-distance goal to secure the three points for United in what was the last match to be played at the Theatre of Dreams with supporters present in the stadium. It was a great goal that secured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side the Premier League double over City, which shows the direction the club has been heading in under the Norwegian manager, despite the negativity from Twitter fans.
McTominay signed a new contract at United this summer, which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2025, with the option of a further year to be added. This shows that United have a future for the player and he will be an asset in the years to come once he finds his feet in his new position. The 23-year-old has played 23 times in the 2019/20 season in the central midfield position, playing 11 times in the defensive midfield position – the other appearances playing in advanced areas on the pitch. This shows that he could be moulded into the heir to Matic with the Serbian helping him find his feet, which would be good for him.
Written by John Walker