Manchester United’s midfield anchor Nemanja Matic has tipped youngster Scott McTominay to go on to great things at the club.
McTominay made his second first-team start of the week – following his appearance against Swansea in the Carabao Cup in mid-week – when United hosted Benfica in the Champions League.
It was his first start alongside the big Serb and United’s first choice holding midfielder was impressed with the youngster.
Matic told MUTV:
“I think Scott is going to be a great player and already is a great player. He’s very young, very talented and physically strong.”
It’s impossible to escape the fact that McTominay seems to bare many of the same physical characteristics as Matic. They’re both tall, strong, athletic and comfortable on the ball.
Matic has been a revelation since he joined from Chelsea in the summer. Constantly breaking up attacks and moving the ball forward and efficiently he sets the tempo for United in every game. Somewhat surprisingly he’s also the United players with the most completed dribbles this season.
McTominay may only be starting out on his journey in the professional ranks but in Matic he has the perfect role model.
“I’m sure he is the future of Manchester United and I enjoy playing with him because he also works really hard and is very confident. I’m going to help him in training because I think with his potential he’s going to be a big star for Manchester United.”
The ideal scenario for manager Jose Mourinho – if he is to break type and remain at the club beyond his third year self-destruction phase – is for McTominay to replace Matic when the Serb leaves or hangs up his boots.
That seems a long way off at the moment but if the young midfielder can build on the form he showed in his first Champions League start it will slowly become a distinct possibility.
Having carried a reputation of not developing young talent into his role at United Mourinho is slowly eroding that perception. Along with McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe has also seen some game time under Mourinho proving that it doesn’t matter how old you are – but it certainly helps if you’re six-foot-four and as talented as McTominay is.
Stephen Vaughan, Pundit Arena