He may not be as classy as Bruno Fernandes or as skillful as Marcus Rashford but Scott McTominay is winning Manchester United football matches. Last night, he came off the bench to book Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s place in the FA Cup quarter-finals with yet another impressive strike against West Ham in extra-time, his seventh of the campaign.
Those numbers highlight the vast improvement and continuous strides McTominay has made at Old Trafford with every season that goes by, even without his former boss Jose Mourinho.
It’s well documented that the pair still have a unique and special relationship, even though Mourinho now manages United’s ‘Big Six’ rivals Tottenham. His impact on McTominay’s career remains timeless.
After the 1-1 draw between the two sides after Project Restart last season, the pair embraced on the field at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a smile.
It takes a special player to enchant Mourinho and while McTominay will admit he’s no world-beater, his first-class attitude and desire to win as an academy prospect was what caught the eye of the Special One.
“‘You’re not a superstar’, he said and I drove back to digs thinking ‘have I just ruined it for myself? I couldn’t believe it.
“I thought ‘I hope he knows I don’t think I’m a star, I’m the polar opposite.’ He probably just wanted to see what I was made of, what sort of lad he had on his hands.
“You’re liked by what you do on the pitch and how you are off the pitch and I feel Mourinho saw something in me at a time some people did and some people didn’t, and I’m grateful.”
McTominay has also revealed he still texts his former manager every now and again to discuss football.
This has been the 24-year-old finest campaign of his career to date, having established himself as a regular in midfield.
Even Paul Pogba has found himself on the bench at times this season, due to McTominay’s imposing and impressive form.
Many are still led to believe he’s younger than his age but this term, his performances have been full of maturity.
McTominay has saved United millions in the transfer market and looks like the focal point of their midfield for years to come.
Without the b******ing from Mourinho on the training ground, who knows where McTominay may have ended up…