He was a favourite of Jose Mourinho, playing ahead of World cup winner Paul Pogba in the Manchester United midfield. But now, Scott McTominay’s current first team opportunities may be limited under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Scott McTominay is a kid with a special character, very humble, aggressive in a positive way, brave, he’s a special kid.”Mourinho on the young midfielder
The Scottish international has risen to prominence over the last couple of years under the Portuguese’s management. United through and through, he’s been at their fabled academy since the age of five. McTominay was preferred to the Pogba due to Mourinho valuing his defensive output over the Frenchman’s creativity, much to the discontent of the Old Trafford faithful.
Despite assurances of his future at the Red Devils by Solskjaer, the Scot may need to go out on loan during this January window to get more minutes under his belt. Celtic are in talks with United over bringing McTominay to Celtic Park, so here’s what he could offer them:
One of the reasons Paul Pogba was dropped by Mourinho and seemingly always got on his wrong side was his lack of discipline. Granted we can agree dropping the world-class French international is perhaps a step too far, but his tendency to push up too high, leaving the defence exposed, frustrated the Special One.
McTominay, on the other hand, sits deep in midfield and is able to play the defensive role relatively well when he has been called upon. Poor management from Mourinho meant the academy graduate was played out of position in his last few games, playing at centre back when he clearly isn’t comfortable there. Still though, he’s obedient and does his job to a good standard.
At 6ft 4, it’s evident that McTominay offers a physical presence in the centre of the pitch. With his large stature, he is able to muscle opposition players off the ball whilst also win defensive headers with relatively ease.
Another point that can be made about McTominay is his ‘no nonsense approach’ to how he goes about his business. This is both a plus point as well as a flaw in the Scottish international’s game.
On one hand, he doesn’t attempt a Hollywood pass and subsequently lose the ball, something the gaffer always loves. Not afraid to hoof the ball into Row-Z, the midfielder does the dirty work to a decent standard.
But on the other hand, this approach slows down transition from defense to the final third. Hardly expansionary with a lowly 0.2 key passes per game, McTominay offers almost nothing offensively.
To be honest the 22 year old is an average defensive midfielder, nothing more, nothing less. We’re not saying he will remain average, he’s clearly good enough having graduated from United’s academy and has time to develop.
Yet will he bring much to The Bhoys? He probably won’t set the world alight or play week in week out. However, it’s depth for Brendan Rodgers’ side which could be crucial in their race for the league title.