After calling on Scott McTominay and Fred at half-time against Tottenham, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave both midfielders the start at Newcastle.
The duo are a pairing which Solskjaer can trust. They delivered in big games last season.
While there is competition from Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek, it would not be a surprise to see the partnership feature again in the upcoming matches.
What makes it work is the trust Fred and McTominay have in each other’s games, and the way they share responsibilities.
There is no one player set as the holding midfielder. McTominay was asked to play this role against Palace early in the season alongside Paul Pogba and it did not work.
McTominay’s game is about more than just defending. Being critical, he lacks the discipline and positional sense to really be great in this role.
Against Newcastle his attacking influence showed up too as United took control, winning the game 4-1.
The Scot created three goalscoring chances in total, while completing 87 per cent of his passes.
This was the same number of chances created as the impressive Juan Mata. Only Bruno Fernandes (6) managed more.
Teammate Paul Pogba by comparison is averaging just 0.3 chances created per game in the Premier League this season.
Pogba came on for Fred late in the second half and played alongside McTominay.
It is worth remembering the role McTominay played in Paris in 2019. He will be confident of a repeat.
This game was a useful reminder of what he is capable of, and also highlighted that he is a more complete player than he gets given credit for.
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