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Scott McTominay set for new role at Manchester United?

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

Dimitar Berbatov feels this midfielder needs to put in extra effort moving forward

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

Di’Shon Bernard, Largie Ramazani and James Garner tipped to be the next big thing at Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has named some of the players within the Old Trafford club’s academy that he considers to be the ones to keep a look out for in the coming years. Over the years, United has been excited about many prospects from the academy of the club from Duncan Edwards, George Best, and Ryan Giggs and beyond.

McTominay himself made the rise from the academy to become a regular first team player today. It is great to see first team players take an interest in the younger players at the club, which gives them the necessary attention, also showing the players themselves that they are appreciated from those already in the first team, a boost if you will.

McTominay feels that United supporters have a lot to be excited about in the future with many good players coming through the youth ranks in various positions. However, the 23-year-old highlighted three players for us all to look out for and all three of them have been noticed by the club and the supporters, especially this season.

Earlier this week, McTominay did a Q&A session with the official Manchester United website and on there he was asked about the youth players that he feels are showing good signs at the club. It was here where he mentioned three names; Di’Shon Bernard, Largie Ramazani, and James Garner. McTominay said:

“For the younger boys? There’s a lot.

“You see Di’Shon [Bernard], Largie [Ramazani], Jimmy [Garner], you see Mason [Greenwood], obviously, coming in and Mason’s on his way to being established.

“He’s not quite at that level of being a regular first-teamer, and that’s what Mason has to strive to become.

“He’s one of the most talented players that I’ve seen for a long time – his left-foot, right-foot shooting is ridiculous.”

The three players, all of them 19, have been playing well this season, until the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football, which also cancelled the remainder of the season for youth football. Garner has already played for the first team this season, making 19 appearances at U23 and first team level, scoring nine goals and three assists.

Ramazani has made his first team debut earlier this season and in total, at U23 and first team level, he has made a total of 17 appearances, scoring 10 goals and two assists. Bernard also made his debut for the first team this season, making a total of 17 appearances at U23 and first team level, scoring no goals but getting one assist.

All three players have been exciting at times this season. Garner seems to be a player in the mould of Paul Scholes and seems to be able to score some stunning goals. Ramazani is a quick and tricky winger, who can also play through the middle, showing his ability on the pitch this season and Bernard is a central defender, his composure is second to none.

It is always great to see academy players rise to the challenge and that challenge will be tough on the road to them finding their feet in the first team at the Old Trafford club, playing at the Theatre of Dreams well into the future. It is not something that happens for all, but does happen for some. If they all keep their heads down and continue their development, there could be no stopping them.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told he could be at risk of losing Scott McTominay, says Brian McClair

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been warned by a familiar face at the Old Trafford club that he could lose midfielder Scott McTominay in the near future. When Jose Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 and Solskjaer came in, McTominay could have been heading to Celtic on loan, which would have been a shame for United.

Instead though, the academy graduate remained at United and with injuries to Paul Pogba for much of the current season, the Lancaster-born Scottish international has earned his stripes and played some beautiful football at the club, scoring a stunning goal in Old Trafford’s last game against Manchester City with United coming out on top.

Former United forward, Brian McClair, who was also the head of United’s academy until 2015, when Nicky Butt took over, has praised the Scotland international, albeit with a warning that would need attention paid to it. McTominay has been a standout player for the club this season, some supporters don’t seem to rate him though, for whatever reason.

McClair spoke to Superstar Speakers about McTominay, who this season, despite suffering from injury himself, has made a total of 27 appearances, playing in the Premier League, Carabao Cup, UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup, scoring five goals and one assist, spending a total of 2,063 minutes on the football pitch. McClair said:

“I think Scott McTominay, if he stays at Manchester United, will be a great player for Manchester United.

“It’s a similar thing to Darren Fletcher. He’s come through the youth system, he wants it, he’s a Manchester United fan, he’s determined.

“He’s overcome several situations with regards to growth spurts, injury and illness.

“I think he can be a Manchester United great.

“I hope that he remains at Manchester United for long enough for that to occur but it would not surprise me if there were other clubs looking to recruit him in the not too distant future.”

McTominay has risen through the ranks since he was given his debut by Mourinho, finding his feet and actually offering what United needed from time to time. Granted, he’s not going to be a household name in world football but he will be a name that is recognised for what he has done for his club. Solskjaer will need to keep this in mind.

I don’t for one minute think that Solskjaer would sell McTominay right now as there are players who are needing to go through the Old Trafford exits before anyone else does. However, if he’s not getting regular football, which might happen if Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes form a special partnership, depending on what formation is used.

If Solskjaer opts for a three-man midfield, whether a 4-3-3 formation or a 4-4-2 diamond, there could be space for McTominay in the squad. Fred has been a breath of fresh air this season, showing that he just needed regular football in order to find his form at the club, despite the fact Mourinho had already called time at United for him.

McTominay can bring something to the team. Pogba, if he stays at the club, and Fernandes are not going to play every game in the centre of the pitch together, so there will be rotation options. Having McTominay in the midfield with the duo could be something special based on the work rate of the player and his ability on and off the ball.

Manchester United may not have replaced Michael Carrick but there is a gem from within who could fill the void

Manchester United have a problem in midfield this summer which requires strengthening, according to Danny Murphy on talkSPORT. The former Liverpool and England midfielder has suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has work to do in replacing Michael Carrick, who retired at the end of the 2017/18 season, becoming a coach at the club.

Carrick signed for United from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2006 for a fee of £14 million, which could have risen to £18.6 million. The combative midfielder played for the club for 12 seasons before hanging up his boots and becoming a coach under Jose Mourinho and continuing under Solskjaer. Carrick was the reason United’s midfield has depth.

During his career at the club, as a player, Carrick won five Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, six FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League and one FIFA Club World Cup – only the UEFA Super Cup is missing from his list of honours. A great career for a great midfielder.

During the summer, United were linked with many midfielders, failing to sign a single one. Having sold Marouane Fellaini in January and with Ander Herrera leaving as a free agent in the summer, it was expected that at least two central midfielders would be signed. However, that did not happen. Solskjaer’s side may have wanted to make signing though.

For the duration of the summer, Solskjaer was linked to Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff, a connection that was mocked by supposed supporters of the club on Twitter. It would seem that supporters think United should be signing experienced world class players, ignoring the fact that Longstaff has the skills to be a great player.

Former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez one stated that Longstaff was like Carrick but with more mobility and more in the tank. If only some supposed United supporters looked forwards instead of always looking back, they might understand the game a bit more. There is little point buying ready-made players, helping to develop younger players works.

Carrick was a deep-lying midfielder, one that did not rely on pace, stamina, physical attributes, box-to-box play or tackling like a typical midfielder. Instead, Carrick relied on his reading of the game, helping him to anticipate attacking threats from the opposition. This helped him and all the teams he played for. Carrick has been praised by legends of the game, including Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Xavi and Xabi Alonso.

Longstaff is a born leader, he has perfect his passing to the best of his abilities, he gets stuck into the game and has his entire career ahead of him. You should be able to see why Longstaff was linked to United and why Newcastle seemed to put a huge price tag on the player this summer, seemingly wanting to keep him. Speaking about United’s midfield, Murphy told talkSPORT:

“And then of course in the middle of the park I’m still not sure that it’s the right balance.

“I think they need another, I keep saying it, Michael Carrick, but where do you find a Michael Carrick?

“But that type, someone who can sit in there, [Paul] Pogba likes to go forward and do his bit, someone who can sit in there.

“[Scott] McTominay’s a good player but he’s not someone that can dictate tempo like Carrick did. They’ve never replaced him as far as I’m concerned.”

United though, have a player of their own who could help strengthen the midfield and add something Carrick-esque in the centre of the pitch. His name is James Garner. The 18-year-old has made his first team debut for United but has yet to play a considerable amount of minutes at a competitive level. He was involved in the clubs summer pre-season tour.

Garner has started to establish himself in the U23 squad this season, under Neil Wood and Quinton Fortune, playing all 360 minutes of action with United beating Rotherham United 2-0, West Bromwich Albion 5-0, Reading 2-0, and Newcastle United 4-0, showing his ability and more importantly his development at a higher level than U18 football.

Garner has four goals and one assist at this level this season, scoring a brace against West Brom, once against Reading and Newcastle, getting his assist against Rotherham in the EFL Trophy. Garner may not be ready to be considered for the first team right now but during the course of the season, if he continues on this trajectory, the world could be his oyster.

Looking at Manchester United’s midfield depth for the 2019/20 season

Manchester United’s midfield is somewhat depleted following the departure of Marouane Fellaini in January and Ander Herrera leaving the club as a free agent in the summer. At least that is what the moaning relates to as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have strengthened the midfield during the summer transfer window.

However, the Norwegian opted to sign a winger instead, in Daniel James, who arrived for £15 million from Swansea City. It was a summer that saw Paul Pogba state to the media that he wanted a new challenge and one which saw United linked to a number of different midfielders. Bruno Fernandes was linked to the club for the entire summer window.

Some will suggest that United’s midfield is weak and there are no positives should Pogba actually leave before the European window closes, or if he suffers from an injury. However, as an optimist, I see options, not great options but options for players to grow and learn a place in the midfield. However, some will not be happy with this fix.

Defensive midfield depth; a player on the decline or players lacking experience.

Nemanja Matic is the player with experience in the defensive midfield position. But as last season and during pre-season has clearly shown, the Serbian has lost his pace, is slow and on the decline. Based on this, he will not be expected to play a big role at the club this season. There are players under him with less experience.

At this moment in time, Scott McTominay will start ahead of Matic as he has been offering more to the team than Matic can at the minute, possibly for the future too. In rotation, McTominay could be challenged by Andreas Pereira and Tim Fosu-Mensah, once he has recovered from knee surgery. Another option is James Garner.

It might not be something that you would consider great depth but it is still depth nonetheless. McTominay has developed into a decent midfielder and that has not finished for him. Having the likes of Pereira, Fosu-Mensah and Garner, also Matic means there are options there if there needs to be. Solskjaer has a plan and he will follow that plan.

Central midfield depth; Pogba has little competition for a starting central midfield role.

In this position, Paul Pogba is the player that others will need to get past in order to play regularly, at least in the 4-2-3-1 formation with only two midfielders. In another formation, say 4-3-3, a third midfielder would be given the chance to earn their place in the team. However, the 4-2-3-1 formation has been used most often by Solskjaer.

If Pogba was to be injured or was rested keeping in mind bigger matches during the course of the season, the likes of Fred and Andreas Pereira could replace him in the team. Fred could also play as a defensiveminded midfielder but this being his second season, it would be best to see him play this role. Garner too, however, it may be too soon for him.

Pereira has done well, however, I am not sure the centre of midfield is where Pereira should be playing; he played on the right-wing for periods against Chelsea last weekend. The depth here is not the greatest but it will have to do, until January at least when Solskjaer may make a move to strengthen his squad. Failing that, it will be next summer.

The formation above shows the depth of the midfield. There are seven players competing for a central midfield role, of which in the current formation, two will start each match. If the formation changes, there could be a further place available in the team. There is some strengthening needed but that doesn’t just mean buying players.

There are many players in the team that could be used in these positions if the need arises. I am sure Juan Mata could play a central role, as could Angel Gomes. It might not be ideal but it could work. However, with the seven names to fortify these positions, it would take a long injury list to ensure Solskjaer played other players out of their favoured positions.

The depth is there, although it is not as magnificent as it might be. But the way I look at things, the depth of the squad, at least in the striker role was not great in the 2015/16 season and after Anthony Martial injured himself in the warm-up ahead of the Midtjylland match, Marcus Rashford may not have had the impact in which he’s had. Every cloud and all that!

Great, Scott. Midfield utility-man McTominay’s growing importance to Manchester United

Scott McTominay joined Manchester United as an academy player in 2002 at the age of five, later signing professional terms ahead of the 2013/14 season. After progressing to the under-18s, he underwent a significant evolution during the next two years as a growth spurt resulted in him growing to approximately 1,93m tall. This affected his development as a footballer, as he initially struggled to adapt to his now significantly larger frame, which also brought him injury problems.

United’s youth team coaches nevertheless persisted with the Lancaster-born player, who was originally used as a centre-forward. Their persistence was matched by the youngster’s work ethic and attitude, and he soon established himself in the youth teams after being converted to a central midfielder under former reserve team manager Warren Joyce. He has since gone on to establish himself in the United first-team, which has, in turn, led to him earning nine caps for Scotland, whom he qualifies to play for via his father’s Scottish heritage.

McTominay got his first taste of first-team action at United when he was named on the bench in the Premier League against Swansea City at Old Trafford towards the end of the 2016/17 season. He followed this up by making his debut away at Arsenal and he later made his full debut in United’s final league match that season, at home to Crystal Palace. These games, of course, took place with United unlikely to end the season in the top four, by which time then-manager Jose Mourinho had decided to prioritise winning the UEFA Europa League as a means of getting United back into the UEFA Champions League.

Mourinho used these fixtures to give youth team players a taste of the Premier League; Axel Tuanzebe made his debut in the Arsenal fixture and featured regularly until the season’s end, while Joel Pereira, Demetri Mitchell and the now-departed Joshua Harrop also made their full debuts in the Palace fixture. McTominay went on the pre-season tour ahead of the 2017/18 season, during which he opened his goalscoring account for the club, in a friendly against Norwegian side Valerenga. 

United was dealt a significant blow during the season, as then club-captain Michael Carrick was left unable to play for the majority of the season, owing to a heart condition which preceded his retirement from the game. McTominay stepped up to feature regularly in Carrick’s absence, later signing a contract extension with the club. He followed this up by being named in Scotland’s squad for a friendly against Costa Rica, in which he later started.

For his efforts over the course of the season, McTominay ended the season receiving an award dubbed the Manager’s Player of the Year by Mourinho. A competitive debut for Scotland soon followed at the beginning of 2018/19 and while he only made a handful of appearances until the Mourinho’s dismissal, McTominay was rewarded with another contract extension in January 2019.

Around a month later, regular holding midfielder Nemanja Matićwas ruled of the clash against title-chasing Liverpool at Old Trafford. McTominay stepped in and helped United battle to a goalless draw, despite losing three players to injury inside the first half and Marcus Rashford having to play the second through injury. McTominay ended this match alongside fellow academy graduates Paul Pogba and Andreas Pereira in midfield.

He was again required to step up a few weeks later for the second leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain, as Matić and Herrera had failed to recover from injury while Pogba was suspended having been sent off in the first leg, which United lost 2-0. McTominay and fellow midfielders Pereira and Fred did not disappoint, as they helped United to a famous comeback win against the French champions.

McTominay was later pictured wiping away tears during the celebrations after Marcus Rashford smashed home the injury-time penalty to seal progression to the next round. His efforts proved to be in vain against FC Barcelona, who triumphed 4-0 on aggregate. Nevertheless, McTominay was arguably United’s best player in the first leg at Old Trafford, which Barcelona won 1-0. He started that game as one of the more advanced centre midfielders alongside Pogba, while Fred played the holding role.

McTominay did not look out of place against experienced campaigners Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitić, and one could argue that he outperformed his midfield teammates, who were purchased by United at around £90 million and £50 million respectively. United’s end of season slump was well underway by that point and the team regularly struggled to deliver strong performances, even during games where they emerged victorious.

This downturn in form led to the Champions League exit, elimination from the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers as well as failure to hang on to fourth place in the Premier League, which they had only managed to claw back due to a sharp upturn in form after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins as the caretaker manager. In addition to his impressive showings in midfield, McTominay opened his competitive goal scoring account for United, scoring in a 2-1 league defeat at Wolves, before adding another in a 1-1 draw away at Huddersfield Town.

McTominay’s performances during this period are one of only a few positives supporters can take away from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign as the permanent manager. It also proved to be especially timely for United, who sold Marouane Fellaini in January and were preparing for the departure of Ander Herrera at the seasons close. McTominay, while not a direct replacement for either of them, has proved himself capable of performing in roles previously occupied by the two, although he does not possess the aerial ability that made Fellaini a threat in the opposition penalty area. This is perhaps something he should look to improve, given considerable stature.

It is also no surprise that McTominay has earned the trust of both Mourinho and Solskjaer, as well as his former international manager, Alex McLeish. This is likely due to his outstanding work ethic as well as his understanding of the different roles he has played in midfield. His height makes him a considerable presence, while his energy and work rate make him a nuisance to opposition players.

His passing ability has also shown signs of improvement and is likely to get even better, especially now that he is under the tutelage of Michael Carrick. In performing the various roles, McTominay has also demonstrated a willingness to understand and carry out tactical instructions given to him by both his United managers. While this may not be the most glamourous job to do in football, previous United teams have relied on hard-working players in midfield, whose primary purpose is to stifle the opponent, particularly against elite opposition with top quality midfielders.

Players who have performed similar duties in United teams include Roy Keane, Nicky Butt as well as Phil Neville and John O’Shea when they were selected in midfield and most recently, Ander Herrera. Herrera’s performances are particularly noteworthy, as he almost completely restrained his attacking instincts in order to play the holding midfield role, which required primarily defensive “dirty work” along with recycling possession after it was won back.

He did this with aplomb during 2016/17, culminating with a Man of the Match performance in the 2017 Europa League final, after receiving United’s Player of the Year award a few days earlier. The ability of a single player to perform to the required standard in different roles is vital to the current United squad, which has been moulded and shaped by five different permanent managers. There are also question marks over the most suitable roles for the recent academy graduates, as well as how they should be integrated into the first-team.

A player as versatile as McTominay, who has also played at centre-back in the first-team and attacking midfielder in the youth teams, represents a valuable asset to a team which once again finds itself in transition. He is more mobile and energetic than the ageing Matić when it comes to playing the holding role, while his height and range of passing have proven to be more than useful when he’s played further forward. In recent times, McTominay has also shown himself to be somewhat of a leader among the group of younger players within United’s first-team squad. 

He mentioned just a few days ago that he was “looking after” new signing Daniel James, which is something that may be transferred onto the pitch in the coming season. McTominay’s path to the first-team is a template for current academy players to follow. He overcame the changes brought about by his growth spurt by working hard to evolve as a player to match the physical change he underwent. This is something that’s been drilled into United academy players over the years; their talent is one thing but hard work and the correct attitude is just as, if not more important to succeeding at Manchester United.

Written by Shiven Nayager

Scott McTominay is not far from a permanent spot in the first team

With a changing of the guard potentially coming during the transfer window, many of the youth players have a shining opportunity to stand out to the staff at Manchester United and prove that they are worthy of more chances at the first team level. One of those players is twenty-two-year-old Scott McTominay, who made his initial debut in the starting XI at United back in May of 2017.

The central-midfielder has since slowly progressed into a rotation player at the club, as he made another thirteen appearances in the Premier League the next season, as well as made his Champions League debut that season in October of 2017, first getting a minute of playtime in the away leg at Benfica, then playing the entire match at the home leg against Benfica that followed about two weeks later. 

While McTominay didn’t manage any goals or assists in the 2017/18 season, he did pass the ball around fairly well, as he managed three-hundred and forty-three passes, with an average of just over twenty-six passes-per-appearance in his thirteen Premier League appearances.

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McTominay was also only charged with seven fouls and two yellow cards in the Premier League, and only took on one yellow card in his four appearances in the Champions League indicating he should be able to keep his cool when it’s down to him and his opponent.

This season has been just about parallel with the performances of last season, as McTominay currently has twelve appearances in the Premier League so far, and has made one appearance in the Champions League. The biggest milestone that McTominay has achieved so far is a big one for young players, as he netted his first Premier League goal in the recent loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Apart from his first goal, McTominay has also stayed consistent with his passing with three-hundred and forty-five passes at an average of just under twenty-nine passes per match in his twelve appearances in the Premier League. The young centr-midfielder has also continued to do a good job staying patient in his tackles, only committing seven fouls and not having any cards on his record this season.

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While McTominay still has quite a bit to prove before he can be considered a reliable first team centre-midfielder, he has shown promise in his performances already at the first team level. McTominay has already shown up in a squad that is lacking depth and may have to step up even more during the earlier mentioned potential clear-out the club may endure in the summer transfer window.

If McTominay can continue to improve in his goal-scoring and also his play-making and passing abilities, he may be able to take some stress off of the backs of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ed Woodward if he can take a position off of the list of players that they need to shop for.

The ball falls into the court of Solskjaer, who will have to properly work with McTominay to develop him into the player that he needs in his squad.

Written by Joel Dulka

Scott McTominay has ambitions for this season and beyond; Jose Mourinho does trust youth

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has stated his ambitions ahead of the final three matches this season and for the 2018/19 season. Jose Mourinho gave the 21-year-old his debut last season, giving him more chances to earn his place in the team this season, some of which were in the UEFA Champions League, which showed how much the manager rated the player. Despite not winning one of the awards up for grabs in last week’s end of season awards ceremony, Mourinho surprised the Academy graduate by naming him the Manager’s Player of the Year.

Many saw this as a finger being pointed to the rest of the team whilst others saw it for what it was; a confidence booster for a player who, despite having next to no experience at senior level has kicked on and earned his position in the squad, also the praise he has been given by teammates, coaches, and Mourinho himself. McTominay is delighted about how the season has panned out which has left him wanting more, most of all to repay the faith Mourinho has shown in him. Speaking to the official Manchester United website, the player said:

“I’m delighted with how things have played out, but I always want more. There’s always room for improvement and that’s the main aim for me going into next season. Taking the small details and attempting to improve them.

“Throughout every season, from Under-16s to Under-18s, Under-23s up to the first team, you always have your goals and ambitions and sometimes, some years, you exceed that and some years you don’t.

“For me, it’s all about keeping a level head and always doing things the best way that I possibly can. So, obviously, it’s been an amazing year for me, I know that, but I’ve played 20 games or something like that and obviously next season you want 25 or 30 or 35 games and it’s important to keep pushing forward and that’s what every young player should be aspiring to do. Keep working hard and to do the best you can.”

McTominay has done well this season, swapping U23 football in the Premier League 2 for the actual Premier League, plus the other competitions he has played in. It was once said that Mourinho does not promote youth, is uninterested in youth and what he has done for McTominay, and other is pretty good. It really has blown away the myth which many have believed about Mourinho. The 21-year-old also spoke about his highlight of the season, so far and to him, that was being part of the squad which beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. McTominay said:

“The Liverpool game. I felt that was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. I’m a United fan myself and it doesn’t get much better than beating Liverpool. With Marcus Rashford scoring as well, it was an unbelievable day for the Academy.”

McTominay headed to the end of season awards night at Old Trafford last week not expecting anything. Just being there with the first team would have been enough for him. Mourinho, on the other hand, had something in mind for him, something which had been thought about and planned. The award was something of a surprise for the Lancastrian, something which will fill him with pride and help him kick on next season, which is going to be a big season for him. There could be more to come this season though if United win the Emirates FA Cup. McTominay said:

“It is a tremendous honour and I am so, so grateful to the manager for picking me. He’s shown a hell of a lot of trust in me this year and it’s just been really, really great to repay him the best I can on and off the pitch. 

“I’m really looking to kicking on now, and in the last few games of the Premier League, and look forward to next season and a massive cup final.”

This season will be something McTominay and Mourinho will be proud of, as will the Manchester United Academy. Another player blooded into the first team, now a full international with Scotland, which in effect is a success for all at Manchester United. McTominay is a decent midfielder, still rough around the edges with raw talent but something which the right coaching and management can mould into the right player for the club. McTominay excites me as a player, just because he does not do tricks is not exciting. What he does for the team is all he needs to do.

Scott McTominay the real winner at the end of season awards

Even though goalkeeper David De Gea won his fourth Manchester United player of the year on Tuesday, an achievement eclipsing Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of three awards, it was Scotland international Scott McTominay who was the real winner, winning manager’s player of the year.

It’s an award that was a first of its kind and broke the tradition of only having a player of the year award, voted by fellow players. It is something that Mourinho obviously felt necessary to do, to show how he feels the young Scot has played this season and to give the 21-year-old a real boost ahead of pre-season and going into the 2018/19 season. Mourinho said at the awards:

“He started the season in the academy and ended it playing in the Premier League. I thought I cannot let this kid go home without an award.

“It was between him and Matic because Matic last March 2017, told me I want to play for you and I want to play for Manchester United, and he made it happen.”

However, it was the McTominay that Mourinho decided was more rewarding of the manager’s player of the year award and subsequently, it went to the midfielder. He said:

“It was really nice for me. Obviously, it was a tremendous honour for me and I’m so grateful for the manager for choosing me.”

Really looking to kick on in the last three games and the cup final. It has been an amazing year for me playing 20 games and obviously next season you want 25,30,35 more.”

McTominay has had a break out season this year, not only making 20 appearances for the Reds but also making his international debut for Scotland in a friendly against Costa Rica in March.

At the turn of the year, McTominay was a regular starter for the Reds and starting ahead of more seasoned players like Ander Herrera and veteran Michael Carrick. He was also keeping out United’s record signing Paul Pogba for a time, and was played in some huge games in the Champions League as well as starring in the League and FA Cup.

Its no wonder why Mourinho decided to award the 21-year-old for such an impressive breakout season at Old Trafford, and the award came almost a year to the day Mourinho handed McTominay his debut against Arsenal last season.

He will have a tough season on his hands next year, to eclipse what he has done this season, especially with United possibly dipping into the transfer market to try and replace retiring Michael Carrick who will be on the coaching staff.

However, after receiving such praise from the manager and being rewarding with an award such as the manager’s player of the year, that is only going to give him confidence going into United’s pre-season tour of the United States, and then when the reds begin the season in August. It’s up to the Scot how he reacts to such praise, let’s just hope it will inspire him to get better and who knows even challenge for the top award next season.

Written by Dan Pearce

copyright: JW