During Manchester United’s toughest moments in the 2019/20 season, the team’s best performances came with Fred and Scott McTominay at the heart of midfield.

The duo starred in back to back wins against Tottenham and Manchester City in December, and together, provided a solid base in midfield.

Since then Nemanja Matic has forced his way into the side, deservedly, and Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek now make life even tougher for Fred and McTominay.

When they have had chances, they have not really seized them.

Manchester United v Club Brugge - UEFA Europa League Round of 32: Second Leg
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Last night they got their first chance to play together in the same side since June, and they looked good as United beat Brighton 3-0.

One of the issues they have faced individually is that they lack the defensive discipline required to really replace Matic effectively, but together, they have a good understanding and it seems to work.

After they helped to keep a clean sheet against Brighton, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had positive words about the pair.

The United manager told the club website: ” I thought the two in midfield, Scotty and Fred, were a shield in front of the back four as well and they were fantastic.

 

“I have got a couple of challenges, or headaches, or good decisions to make.”

It would be a surprise if either player feature against Tottenham on Sunday as starters, but Solskjaer could probably play the pair and feel confident they would perform well.

Brighton And Hove Albion v Manchester United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round
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McTominay even scored his first goal of the season in the win, which will give him a confidence boost.

After playing as a regular pre-lockdown, McTominay barely featured from June onwards, with Solskjaer preferring Pogba instead.

Last season showed there will be challenges with injuries and fitness, and all of United’s midfielders are going to have to step up at some stage.

This was encouraging to see, and shows the strength in depth United have in central midfield when everybody is at the top of their game.

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