Ralf Rangnick praises Scott McTominay.
Ralf Rangnick has sung the praises of Scott McTominay, suggesting that the midfielder will be captain of Manchester United “in a couple of years.”
McTominay scored the winner for the Red Devils in their 1-0 FA Cup third round victory over Aston Villa on Monday night, with his second goal in his last three appearances in all competitions.
Ralf Rangnick on Scott McTominay captaincy credentials.
It’s not uncommon for McTominay to outperform his teammates in recent times. He was notably voted Man of the Match by users of the Man United app for the club’s penalty shootout defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League Final last May, but quite often he follows a big performance up with a poor one, not unlike many of his colleagues.
Monday night was another example of McTominay doing his job better than his teammates, although it was a low bar, and afterwards Rangnick sang the 25-year-old’s praises.
“He is an academy boy, his energy is amazing,” the German coach told reporters. “He now also starts scoring goals and also with some leadership skills. I wouldn’t be surprised if in a couple of years he would be the captain of this team.”
Where does this leave Harry Maguire?
Since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December, Rangnick has been privy to the inner workings of what many are calling a broken dressing room, with numerous fringe players reportedly looking towards the Old Trafford exit door.
The fact that he has singled McTominay out for his leadership skills amid all of these problems speaks volumes for the Scotland international, but his words may have been seen as a further blow to club captain Harry Maguire.
The centre-back has come in for huge criticism this season for his woeful on-pitch performances, while he has reportedly been “more subdued” since the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and the somewhat overbearing presence that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner brings.
It certainly doesn’t bode well for Maguire that Rangnick is already sounding out another player for the captaincy and it begs the question, what has the manager seen of Maguire’s leadership skills (or lack thereof) for him to make such a comment?
Harry Maguire’s future.
Rangnick is expected to remain in the Man United dugout until the end of this season, before taking on a consultancy role at the club in conjunction with a new manager.
Any new man coming in is sure to be making his own decisions about the captaincy, but if Rangnick does indeed stick around at the club, at least some of his recommendations are sure to be taken on board.
His comments about McTominay potentially becoming captain suggest that he doesn’t have much faith in Maguire as a leader, or indeed as a member of the squad, if his predicted timeline of a “couple of years” rings true.
Maguire already has a lot of work to do to win back the faith of the Man United supporters and it would seem that Rangnick can also be added to the list of people he needs to convince.