Three ways Manchester United could replace McTominay v Brighton
Scott McTominay faces a race against time to be passed fit for Manchester United’s match on Sunday against Brighton.
He limped off against Partizan Belgrade after 75 minutes of the 3-0 win.
Solskjaer told the club website he hopes the Scot will be fit but felt after the game he was a ‘concern’.
We need one last push from the midfield maestro before the international break, but it would not be smart to put him out there if he is not 100 per cent.
With Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba also out injured, midfield is a desperately weak area for United and there are not great options to replace him and partner Fred.
Here are three ways we could potentially replace McTominay if he is not given the green light to play…
It would be great to see United put faith in 18-year-old James Garner and give him his first Premier League start.
Garner has passed every test put in front of him so far and this is a great chance to put him in, at home to Brighton.
He is a regular goalscorer at under-23 level from midfield and could end up becoming a match winner.
This would be an opportunity for Garner to establish himself as a first team player and even hasten Nemanja Matic’s exit.
Even in the event it does not go well, this would be valuable experience in his development. Sometimes United just need to take the gamble and Garner has given every reason to believe.
While Andreas Pereira has made progress in the number 10 role, his performance against Bournemouth was a step back.
Juan Mata staked a claim on Thursday night with possibly his best performance of the season in an attacking midfield role.
He could slot in there and Pereira could drop back to partner Fred.
He has played there before for United and also did so in pre-season with some success.
This role is far more natural for Pereira than playing on the wing as he has been asked to do multiple times this season.
He is industrious and this is what United will need against a very hard working and rested Brighton team.
Solskjaer told the club website he wants his players to press against Brighton, stating: “We’ve got to have loads of energy and go about pressing them really well, because we can’t let them be comfortable here at Old Trafford.”
That means Andreas Pereira rather than Juan Mata might be better suited to the number 10 role.
But can Mata use his quality to play in central midfield and add some composure alongside Fred.
He has the attributes to thrive in the role in a similar way to how David Silva has dropped back at City, and we saw Ryan Giggs reinvent himself as a central midfielder too.
It would be a gamble, but these are extenuating circumstances with Pogba, Matic and possibly McTominay out.
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