Can Scott McTominay build on steady Manchester United start?
Through two games of the season, Scott McTominay can be quietly satisfied with his performances.
What’s clear, is that he has plenty more to give to Manchester United.
McTominay ended last season as one of the only players in form, and in pre-season he continued to play well.
Just to be a regular starter is a huge step forward compared to his forgettable beginning to last season, when Jose Mourinho picked him at centre-back.
But what of his campaign so far? Well, the best way to describe his opening Premier League performances this season would be ‘steady’.
He has kept United’s midfield ticking over, but there were times when as a unit, it was overrun.
At times United were outpassed by Chelsea, while against Wolves, control of the game was lost for periods in the second half.
McTominay’s work rate over 180 minutes has been evident. The club website report he has covered more distance during these matches than any other player.
This will ensure he is popular with the manager, with Solskjaer wanting fit, hungry players, willing to implement his methods.
On the ball he has been fairly unspectacular, completing 82 per cent of his passes, and no chances created.
He is capable of dribbling past an opponent and running with the ball, but he hasn’t done it so far. The goal threat he begun to offer at the end of last season has also been missing.
Time to build
United’s first two fixtures were always going to be tough, against sides which finished third and seventh last season.
The quality of opposition made it tough for McTominay to shine, and we may see more of him over the next two games.
Crystal Palace and Southampton finished 12th and 16th, and while both took points off United last season, United enter each match as favourites to win.
McTominay will feel that he has more to offer, and we might soon see it.
His place is not guaranteed. Nemanja Matic and Fred will both want chances, while James Garner is building a case too for first team chances. Andreas Pereira could take his role too.
It’s assumed McTominay, 22, will start this weekend providing he is fully fit, but it would not be a total surprise if he dropped out.
If his performances do go backwards against Palace and Southampton, rather than show improvement, and United drop points, then it probably will be time to change it up.
He has plenty of reason to want to build on his start and take his performances up a notch.
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