Manchester United Player Analysis: Let’s have an honest conversation about how Scott McTominay has evolve throughout the years.
Since his debut against Arsenal in the 2016/17 season, Manchester United’s No 39, Scott McTominay has gone places at his boyhood club.
The midfielder has been at Manchester United since the age of five, and the 24-year-old is now making a big impact on the first team 4 years after his debut. With 104 appearances and 72 Premier League appearances, the Scottish midfielder has already secured his place in the starting hub of the club going forward.
His first game came in May 2017 in the 2016/17 season against Arsenal when he subbed Juan Mata to play the last 25 minutes. Although the game was already done and dusted in favor of the North Londoners, the young Scottish midfielder did make an impression from the get-go as he won 2 tackles and made 1 interception. His first win in Manchester United jersey came 2 weeks later in a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, where he completed his first full 90 minutes in red shirt.
Scott McTominay in the 2017/18 season
The 2017/18 season was another step in the right direction for Scott McTominay. Suring this season, we saw how calm and collective he is against the big teams. His performances against Chelsea, Sevilla, and Liverpool brought a lot of applause from former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, ex-Manchester United players Gary Neville and Paul Scholes as well as the Professor, Sir Alex Ferguson.
Jose Mourinho in a statement about Scott McTominay goes by;
“When the pressure was on him, the crowd asked him to make the wrong decisions. However, even when the crowd asked him to do the wrong thing, he did the right thing. Everything he did on the pitch was correct.”
He benched Manchester United’s world-record signing Paul Pogba against Sevilla in the RO16 in the Champions League and was Manchester United’s Player of The Match. For his remarkable impressions, he was also given the manager’s player of the season by Jose Mourinho in the Manchester United’s awards ceremony. However, having had a great appreciation, there also was room for improvement as he registered only 0.14 shots per 90 minutes and 0.29 key passes per 90 minutes respectively. But, his defensive side of the game was magnificent as he registered 0.8 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per 90 minutes.
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Scott McTominay in the 2018/19 season
The 2018/19 was a horrible season initially for Manchester United. The team was sitting 10th when Jose Mourinho got sacked and was struggling for confidence. Scott McTominay was usually deployed as a CB at times by Jose Mourinho (the 2-2 draw against Southampton) because of his incredible defensive work rate. However, Scott McTominay was often caught napping due to his inexperience of tracking winger’s diagonal runs.
As a consequence, Manchester United was very leaky at the back. However, once Ole Gunnar Soljskaer took the helm, Scott McTominay’s chances got limited initially as the midfield three of Pogba, Matic and Herrera were integral to United winning incredibly 13 games out of 16 from December till March.
In one of those 13 wins, Scott McTominay’s rise was officially confirmed. Against PSG considered one of the UCL contenders and being down 2-0 going into the away tie at Le Parc des Princes, Scott McTominay was fundamental as Man United overturned the 2-0 scoreline to ensure that Manchester United go past the French team 3-3 on away goals.
A complete midfield performance at one of the toughest away grounds you can imagine, His former boss Jose Mourinho labeled Scott McTominay as “a mad dog” who was unafraid to impose his skill and determination against one of the best sides in the competition. His current boss Ole Gunnar Soljskaer called his performance as “complete”.
Player Analysis: Scott in the 2019/20 season
The 2019/20 season was to be the season where Scott McTominay after all his experience had to show whether he was good enough to be for the first time consistently. Ander Herrera was sold, Fred was busy in his personal life and Pogba had stated clearly that he did not want to be at the club.
As a consequence, all the responsibility was on the shoulders of Scott, and McTominay has to live up to it. He made 27 Premier League appearances this season which is just a few more than all his Premier League appearances in the last 3 seasons. Not to mention, that he also missed 2 months of football because of his knee injury.
A lot was said about his attacking side of play, he elevated that from 0.14 shots per 90 minutes in the 2017/18 season to an astonishing 1.62 shots per 90 minutes in 2019/20. Apart from that, his key passes per 90 minutes have gone from 0.29 passes per 90 minutes in 2017/18 to 0.87 key passes per 90 minutes in 2019/20.
Alongside that, he has scored magnificent goals against Arsenal and Manchester City. He called his goal against Manchester City as “the best moment of his Manchester United career so far” where his goal ensured that the Man United did the double over their city rivals for the first time in 10 years.
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The 2020/21 season
We are half-way into the 2020/21 season and Scott McTominay is already looking like a beast who does not need a rest. He has already registered 14 Premier League appearances out of 16 so far. The Scottish international has been a pivotal point in Manchester United’s journey in the Champions League group stages which still saw them bow out of the competition amidst a poor last group game vs Leipzig.
Amidst groin concerns of his attacking prowess, Scott McTominay keeps improving upfront. Scott McTominay’s first goal this season came in a 3-0 thrashing of Brighton & Hove Albion on September 30 in the EFL Cup.
December 20th saw Scott McTominay breaking a Premier League record as he became the first player to score a brace in the opening three minutes of any Premier league game ever. This was Scott McTominay’s first and second Premier League goals of the 2020/21season so far. The game saw Manchester United thrashing Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United 6-2. This game also saw him register an assist.
Under the reign of Ole Gunnar Solkjaer, Scoot McTominay has found his idle midfield two partner in Fred as they continue to show their class in the double pivot realm. There is no doubt he will improve on that.
But there is still much room for Scoot to improve on. For example, McTonimay is so good at sideward passed which often means that the ball has to return to him who sits back.
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Scott McTominay has truly elevated himself into the first team of Manchester United and you can only wonder how his career will look like in 5 years after he has been made an integral first-team member of Manchester United. Even the possibility of the captain’s armband is not a foregone conclusion for the Scottish International.