Scott McTominay says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has eased his uncertainty about his Manchester United future by playing him in his favoured midfield role. The young Scotland midfielder is playing with a smile on his face under the interim Old Trafford manager.
The young Scot was handed his debut by former manager Jose Mourinho two seasons ago and played 25 games for the Portuguese last term. But he did not fully pin down a role and was used on occasion as a makeshift centre-back.
McTominay, who was also deployed as an emergency striker in United’s reserve side, sees himself as a central midfielder. And, after starring roles there against the likes of Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain for Solskjaer, the 22-year-old believes he has a clearer view of his future.
McTominay, who signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract in January, said “There have been times when it’s been so, so tough. You’re playing out of position and you’re not quite sure exactly how you’re perceived and what your role is going forward.
“But now, having played a run of games under Ole, it’s been much better. We’ve had some amazing nights and big games as well. I just want to keep learning.”
Academy graduate McTominay has made 15 appearances in all competitions this season, six coming under Mourinho before his departure in December. The mood has changed since then, with Solskjaer getting United “playing with a smile on your face and enjoying football”.
McTominay is part of the Scotland squad that faces trips to Kazakhstan on Thursday and San Marino on Monday in Euro 2020 qualifying games. He says national team boss Alex McLeish has made a similar impact to Solskjaer since his appointment in February 2018.
“Everyone’s got that family bond and wants to do well for each other,” he added. McLeish is also a fan of McTominay and was impressed by his performance against PSG’s Marco Verratti. We believe Scott has a good future for club and country – and that performance against PSG suggests that swagger might be there,” said McLeish.
“The big guy is learning all the time and it’s great to see him coming through in the PSG game as he did against Verratti. Verratti is a world-class player and to mess him about and get the wee guy rattled was the performance of a veteran.”