Forgotten man McTominay could help solve Mourinho's midfield issues

Scott McTominay enjoyed something of a breakthrough season in 2017/18. He was named Manager’s Player of the Year at Manchester United after a campaign that saw him adapt to first team football with diligence and professionalism.
This time around, it hasn’t been so easy for the Scotland international but with United’s midfield floundering, is now the time to bring him back into the fold?

What’s the state of play?

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

McTominay has struggled for gametime this season and his only two starts have seen him end up at centre-half both times.
Against West Ham, he played the full 90 minutes in a back three as United went down 3-1 and he was shunted back there against Newcastle before being replaced at half-time, as Jose Mourinho looked to overturn a two-goal deficit.
Mourinho has a habit of playing players out of position to seek to underline his lack of options in a certain role and given his gripes over a lack of a new centre-half in the summer, it looks like that’s what’s happened with McTominay as well.
A promising young talent like him does not deserve to be caught up in a petty power struggle between his manager and board; he has perhaps suffered more than most at United this season as Mourinho’s self-preservation tactics have spiralled out of control.

Should he get back in?

(Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

United are struggling for control, balance and energy in midfield and the underperformance of Nemanja Matic has been a major issue so far this season.
In terms of style, McTominay is as close to Matic as there is in the Manchester United team right now and if Mourinho wants a tall, imposing, disciplined holding midfield player, then the Scotland man is the ideal replacement.
United fans would love to see one of their own get more first team opportunities and it would freshen up a midfield that is horrendously stale at present.

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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.