Scott McTominay becomes Manchester United’s most trusted midfielder lieutenant

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The last time Manchester United were able to host fans at Old Trafford, their supporters sang Scott McTominay’s name.

“Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh Scott McTominay” yelled around the Theater of Dreams after scoring their second goal in injury time to claim a 2-0 victory over “noisy neighbors” Manchester City in Premier League last season (March 8).

The 24-year-old has been nicknamed “McDominate”, “McTerminator” and “McSauce” by the Red Devils loyalists. And on Sunday against bitter rival Leeds United it was certainly mustard.

Scott McTominay had an excellent Sunday as Manchester United beat Leeds United 6-2

McTominay scored twice in the first three minutes as United made a fantastic start

McTominay scored twice in the first three minutes as United made a fantastic start

The last time Old Trafford was full, McTominay scored in a 2-0 win over Manchester City

The last time Old Trafford was full, McTominay scored in a 2-0 win over Manchester City

The midfielder celebrates in front of a crowded crowd in last season's derby victory

The midfielder celebrates in front of a crowded crowd in last season’s derby victory

McTominay was imperious as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat opponents Yorkshire 6-2 at home. He set the tone with two quick goals – becoming the first player in Premier League history to score twice in the first three minutes of a game – and topped the midfielder as United’s victory pushed them to third place in the table, with a game in hand too.

The midfielder has been a source of contention for Solskjaer due to the range of talent he has. Aside from McTominay, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Nemanja Matic and summer scout Donny van de Beek are all vying for a place in his first XI.

The Norwegian tried various combinations in 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3, 4-1-2-1-2 or 3-4-1-2 formations – with only Fernandes a guaranteed starter in any what system.

However, more and more in big games, another name is added to Solskjaer’s premier midfielder: McTominay.

The Scotland international – who has signed a contract extension until June 2025, with the option to extend another year this summer – provides a solid foundation for United in the midfield with his tireless ability to recover the ball , freeing up his more creative team. friends in front of him. A converted striker from his youth, he demonstrated his striking ability with two fine goals against Marcelo Bielsa’s team.

McTominay’s partnership with Fred – coined by some McFreds – has proven to be a proven and reliable combination of Solskjaer. The duo work brilliantly in tandem with their energy and defensive work allowing players like Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Co. to wreak havoc on offense.

In June, McTominay signed a new deal with the club until 2025 with the option of an additional year

In June, McTominay signed a new deal with the club until 2025 with the option of an additional year

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer increasingly trusts McTominay in their big games

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer increasingly trusts McTominay in their big games

The 24-year-old has developed a solid understanding in midfield with teammate Fred (left)

The 24-year-old has developed a solid understanding in midfield with teammate Fred (left)

After his posting on Sunday, United legend Gary Neville praised McTominay.

“McTominay transformed into Paul Scholes and Roy Keane in three minutes,” said the Sky Sports expert, after McTominay put United 2-0 in the lead.

“He’s moving forward, I don’t know if it’s in tactics or if he just liked her, but he’s gone and [Anthony] Martial enters, sees him running and he leaves. Its first touch is brilliant, its second is sublime.

“We thought United would counterattack and attack quickly, but we didn’t think the holding midfielder would be at the end. What a start.

Later in the game, he added, “He (McTominay) emerges and grows. He’s someone Ole can count on in big games with Fred and Fernandes ahead of them. Then Pogba, Matic and Van de Beek got in on it.

He slowly joins Bruno Fernandes as a guaranteed starter in Solskjaer United midfielder

He slowly joins Bruno Fernandes as a guaranteed starter in Solskjaer United midfielder

Neville’s sentiments underline the growth McTominay has enjoyed since making his first-team debut as a substitute in April 2017. It was under Solskjaer’s predecessor Jose Mourinho in a 2-0 loss in the league at Arsenal.

McTominay would go on to make another appearance this season – starting with the season’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The following campaign saw him enter his first full season with the first team – with 23 times in all competitions under Mourinho. United finished the season second and without a trophy, but it was a personal joy for McTominay who won the manager’s player of the season award.

A few months later, Mourinho was sacked. However, McTominay praised the Portuguese manager.

Reflecting on their time together, the midfielder revealed to The Times how a Mourinho disguise tested his resolve – which he went through.

McTominay (center, fullback) made his first start for the club at the end of the 2016-17 season

McTominay (center, fullback) made his first start for the club at the end of the 2016-17 season

“Jose has been amazing to me,” he told The Times in April 2019. “But when I first got to Jose, gave me a serious fuck.

“I was arguing with one of the guys from the first team in training and he said, ‘hey, kid, when you get to the first team, the other players – they must like you. You’re not a superstar, “he said and I went back to the dig thinking” did I just ruin myself? I couldn’t believe it.

“I thought ‘I hope he knows I don’t think I’m a star, I’m the opposite’. He probably just wanted to see what I was made of, what kind of boy he had in his hands.

“You are loved by what you do on the pitch and by the way you are off the pitch and I feel Mourinho saw something in me at one point that some people did and some didn’t , and I am grateful. ”

Like Mourinho, Solskjaer clearly enjoys what McTominay is doing on the pitch. The Lancaster-born player demonstrated his class with an excellent performance in a 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg loss to Barcelona in April 2019 – just months after Solskjaer’s tenure began. He then pitched and in the Norwegian’s first full campaign (2019-20), the Scotsman made 37 appearances in all competitions. This season so far he has already played 17 times.

McTominay got his first-team break under Jose Mourinho and remains grateful to him

McTominay got his first-team break under Jose Mourinho and remains grateful to him

Despite his 1-0 home loss to Barcelona, ​​McTominay shone in the Champions League draw

Despite his 1-0 home loss to Barcelona, ​​McTominay shone in the Champions League draw

McTominay may not have the creative cunning of Pogba or Van de Beek, but his qualities are just as important to Solskjaer. When things are going well, he can count on himself more often than not – which can’t always be said about Pogba, for example.

At 24, McTominay is still in development and has yet to reach his peak. However, his maturity is evident in his post-game comments after beating Leeds.

“You just go out there and do your job, you don’t want to get carried away. Every game is a cup final ‘, he says Sky Sports.

Last season we didn’t approach games in the right frame of mind, but this time we are. You get used to scoring goals at home, it’s so important.

“Confidence grows and everyone receives this boost of energy. The athleticism we showed today was second to none.

“We don’t look at the table, we don’t have time to look. We have to take each game one by one.

McTominay's form kept Paul Pogba out of the starting Xi

The same could be said for Donny van de Beek (middle) too

His form kept Paul Pogba (left) and Donny van de Beek (right, middle) out of the starting XI

The only blemish on Sunday’s display was the fact that McTominay was forced to leave late due to a problem with his groin picked up.

The Red Devils have strength deep in this position, as previously reported, but Solskjaer is hoping his midfield general won’t be out of action for too long.

“He’s a physical freak,” Solskjaer said on Sunday of his number 39.

“He does all his work every day, never shies away and gets his rewards with his fitness and technical work.

Solskjaer called the midfielder a 'physical monster' as United look to continue to improve

Solskjaer has called the midfielder a ‘physical monster’ as United look to keep improving

“He can do anything. He was a striker and he showed he can be a handful in and around the box.

“That energy and motivation in a derby was crucial.

Great praise from his manager. Had fans been allowed into Old Trafford on Sunday, McTominay would have heard their love for him bellow in the stadium as well.

‘Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh Scott McTominay …’

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