Scott McTominay is being backed to force his way back into the Manchester United reckoning and show the Red Devils why he is ‘one of the best midfielders in Europe’.

The Scot’s outstanding performances on international duty – another two goals coming during the 3-0 Euro 2024 qualifying victory over Cyprus – will have had the Manchester United supporters wondering. Has Scott McTominay been ‘mis-profiled’ – or even mis-used – by Erik ten Hag, and managers who came before him?

Many of his appearances last term came in the ‘number six’ role for the Red Devils. If his dazzling displays for the national team are anything to go by, however, McTominay is a natural-born, goalscoring ‘number eight’.

His true talents are being held back by a more withdrawn role at club level.

Manchester United v Borussia Dortmund - Preseason Friendly
Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United misfit in top form for his country

Breaking into the box with devastating effect, McTominay has now scored six goals and set up one more in his last five Scotland appearances, including a famous brace in a 2-0 triumph against the giants of Spain.

And Sutton, the former Celtic striker, is backing McTominay to do at Manchester United what Matthew McConaughey did to transform his acting career; a man criminally mis-used in middling rom coms finally getting the chance to showcase his chops in more dramatic roles.

“He normally plays as a number six. (As a) holding midfielder,” Sutton tells BBC’s Monday Night Club.

“He’s absolutely flying at this moment in time (for Scotland). The club situation is a massive problem for him, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

“Looking at the way Manchester United have imploded at the start of the season, he’s probably got every chance of working his way back into that midfield, which is a midfield that lacks legs.

“On McTominay, I do think this is really important. Some people think he’s not good enough to play for Manchester United, that just depends how good you have to be to play for Manchester United at the moment. But even if he isn’t, he’s still one of the best midfielders in Europe.”

McTominay rejects Fulham move

McTominay has only played seven minutes in Manchester United’s first four Premier League games. And, after turning down a deadline day move to Fulham, the academy graduate could yet fall further down Ten Hag’s pecking order with Sofyan Amrabat and Kobbie Mainoo likely to be available after the international break.

“Because not being good enough to play for them doesn’t mean you’re not good enough to play for someone just below Manchester United, or that you can’t be the leading scorer in the European Championships,” Sutton argues.

“McTominay is a brilliant footballer, even if at times, in a struggling side, he hasn’t convinced.

“It might be that we’ve misjudged McTominay because of his slight travails at Manchester United. I suspect that by January, he might be back in the team at United and a regular part of it. This has happened to him before.

“But, in the meantime, Scotland are reaping the benefit.” 

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