Would Scott McTominay suit a more attacking role?

Scott McTominay was not granted the luxury of a night off as Manchester United picked up their first away win since March beating Partizan Belgrade 1-0.

He was partnered in midfield by the man Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once told the club’s official website can be the new Michael Carrick, James Garner.

With the teenager anchoring midfield, McTominay was pushed into a more offensive midfield role, just as he was against Leicester in September.

So is a more aggressive role a possibility for the Scotland international going forward? We’ve had a look at the pros and cons.

United sorely need McTominay’s drive

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RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

McTominay has been one of the bright spots of United’s season, offering legs and energy as a screen for a much-improved defence.

But United look one-paced in attack, lacking a player who can arrive late into the box or haul the team forward from the centre of the park.

For as long as McTominay is charged with anchoring midfield, he will be held back from getting fully involved in making things happen from deep.

McTominay is the modern Darren Fletcher, and while the Scot sat in midfield, he often excelled when let off the leash to really get in the faces of opponents or get into the area to chip in with vital goals.

Alternative holding midfield options are unsuitable

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On the other hand, McTominay has added a new dimension to United’s midfield purely by offering a committed and mobile alternative to Nemanja Matic.

The Serbian’s legs have gone, which rendered him powerless to stop opponents popping the ball around him last season.

That has made McTominay’s energy a welcome bonus. Given that McTominay isn’t the most stylish player, it might be that intercepting the ball and keeping it simple suits his game best.

Many United fans may cringe at the thought of McTominay as anything other than a water carrier and demand that a new creator is brought in to play alongside the 22-year-old.

At the moment, being adaptable and putting in full effort in any role given to him is serving McTominay well. But the 1-0 win in Serbia may offer a glimpse into a more adventurous United future for the midfielder.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.