Skip to content
Scott McTominay emergence is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's latest tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United legacy

Scott McTominay was making just his second UEFA Champions League start of the season as he put in an eye-catching performance during the first leg of Manchester United’s quarter-final tie against FC Barcelona last week.

That McTominay was the best player on the pitch in a 1-0 defeat for United sums up the type of game it was. But that shouldn't diminish the midfielder’s role in the side and his coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, will be looking for repeat performances between now and the end of the season.

SECURE YOUR SEAT AT INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP 2019

The regard in which he’s held by the Red Devils' coaching staff was evident when he was left out of the starting line-up against West Ham last weekend.

McTominay was being rested with Tuesday’s second-leg in Barcelona in mind.

"He's a young boy and that mental and physical output he gave us on Wednesday night, and he'll probably be needed on Tuesday night,” Solskjær explained.

"Scotty needed a rest today [vs West Ham]. It's built around Wednesday night and today. It was a hard, tough night, physically and mentally.”

In the first leg, he completed four dribbles, almost as many as the rest of the United team put together, and showed a side of his game which isn’t usually seen. He was a general menace in the centre of the park, on and off the ball.

He finished the game having won all of his aerial duels, making five ball recoveries, and with a pass success of 84 per cent.

A lot of what was good about his play won’t be shown in the stats, and one of the most important things from the club’s point of view is that he wasn’t overawed by the big occasion.

Here he was playing against seasoned internationals such as Ivan Rakitić and Philippe Coutinho, as well as FIFA World Cup winner Sergio Busquets. Still, he emerged as arguably the best midfielder on the park on the night.

McTominay’s words after the first-leg defeat suggested he was relishing the chance to play at the iconic Camp Nou on Wednesday.

"Barcelona are top class,” he told BT Sport after the 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford. 

“It's difficult to get the ball. It's not as easy as going out to press like mayhem. We have to do more in front of goal, score more. It's a big second leg to go. It's only half time. We’re United and you can never write us off.”

In the end, Lionel Messi's class told and Barça progressed 3-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate. But there isa far bigger picture. With Nemanja Matić slowing, McTominay is the ideal replacement, and he’s got greater ability to get between the boxes than the Serbian.

The 22-year-old is someone United can rely on going forward, and other players should be bought to play alongside him in the coming years.

He is unlikely to win many awards for individual brilliance, but Old Trafford appreciate players of McTominay's ilk – Darren Fletcher or Park Ji-Sung, for example – who knit everything else together. 

A tall, battling player in the centre of the park, the Scottish international could be a fixture of this United midfield for years to come.

Plenty has been made of Solskjær's links to the great Sir Alex Ferguson. The Norwegian has been quick to highlight them, after all.

For all Ferguson's success, the Scot continued the club's proud tradition of incorporating homegrown players into his side wherever possible and it would be fitting if Solskjær, a proud student of United's most successful coach, continued in that vein by leaning heavily on McTominay.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season for Manchester United it's clear they have a bright future under Solskjær – and McTominay is just the latest beacon of light emanating from Old Trafford. 

SECURE YOUR ICC 2019 TICKETS TODAY!

 
3D4D9472-4273-4A01-937A-9A857E954453 Created with sketchtool. AE1CF3CF-997A-45C9-B398-081C24C2844C Created with sketchtool. AE1CF3CF-997A-45C9-B398-081C24C2844C Created with sketchtool. 019C7B0F-5AA9-423C-88D0-90AB2B77DE7B Created with sketchtool. AE1CF3CF-997A-45C9-B398-081C24C2844C Created with sketchtool. AE1CF3CF-997A-45C9-B398-081C24C2844C Created with sketchtool. 019C7B0F-5AA9-423C-88D0-90AB2B77DE7B Created with sketchtool. AE1CF3CF-997A-45C9-B398-081C24C2844C Created with sketchtool. 019C7B0F-5AA9-423C-88D0-90AB2B77DE7B Created with sketchtool. Icons/Arrow/1000 ABF5B1B3-D7F2-4789-A3AE-0B4476C4FD92 Created with sketchtool. F3916FC0-768E-4027-A1D5-CC66110459CF Created with sketchtool. Icon / Social / Android@3x Created with Sketch. icon-dropdown Created with Sketch. icon-dropdown Created with Sketch. Check CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow Icon / Social / iOS@3x Created with Sketch. echllogoeps Created with Sketch. Group 18 Copy Created with Sketch. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 40C8A19E-A06F-4836-ABD8-C5AE68BC33DB Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 644E21E0-3CB1-4F6B-B321-22391C0CD429 Created with sketchtool. team-logo / WIN Created with Sketch. team-logo / PW Created with Sketch. team-logo / LOST Created with Sketch. team-logo / PL Created with Sketch. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 7CB4E955-9512-49F4-B03B-933CF03CA2FD Created with sketchtool. 53079FE7-D159-40A0-8A83-26281B0D3D33 Created with sketchtool. 976DC860-943B-432F-9E9C-CB9AC395B97F Created with sketchtool. 172C4F03-2B22-49FE-A880-A4C1985B19F7 Created with sketchtool. 45E49ECC-5769-44F4-97EA-EDE23E5CB428 Created with sketchtool. CC731668-0119-48B2-B401-BACA731EA471 Created with sketchtool. 0CCDF29C-1F7C-4F46-921A-EC230ACEE372 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 86A6C4DD-D877-4C22-A527-8B9666AA9DD0 Created with sketchtool. 9EE80E93-DA55-44A3-BB86-719DDC115D67 Created with sketchtool. 42E886A7-7224-4FDC-BBEB-01976002C351 Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. C38CE427-9814-4B47-91C9-66896A6EB2BE Created with sketchtool. 763B01E1-3D00-402A-B0C3-1DD729BBA531 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. 033561FA-5AC5-424E-BFCB-752595AE0B20 Created with sketchtool. Icons/Search/1000 Play Artboard 1 CB_Linked_Icon_Close CB_Linked_Icon_Close Check F896540F-C96F-4488-888D-5ECB022F43CE Created with sketchtool. CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow CB_Linked_Icon_Arrow