The rise and rise of Manchester United workhorse Scott McTominay
The rise and rise of Manchester United workhorse Scott McTominay

The rise and rise of Manchester United workhorse Scott McTominay

At the end of a thrilling 2-1 win for Manchester United against Tottenham Hotspur, all plaudits were directed at brace hero Marcus Rashford and his red-hot form. 

Many will, however, note that United benefited largely from the balance brought in midfield by the returning Scott McTominay

The young midfielder has become 'undroppable', in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's words, thanks to his form and abilities in the middle of the park. 

The Norwegian admitted that McTominay is the first name on his team sheet, and you understand why. 

Against Sheffield and Aston Villa, United's midfield was overrun with ease, further pointing at the importance of the Scotland international. 

In the absence of Paul Pogba, he has been the rock in which United are anchored.

What's his story, his journey. 

Scott was born in Lancaster 22 years ago and joined United at a tender age, having caught the eye of scouts as a five-year-old.

He developed through the ranks at the club but interestingly did not seem to have the qualities he possesses at the moment. 

According to the youth coaches, the lanky midfielder has developed in recent seasons to the shock of many of his teammates and academy staff. 

He initially operated as an attacking midfielder before being moved to the base of the midfield, where he clearly feels home going by recent performances. 

His senior career

McTominay made his full debut for United in the Premier League against Swansea during the 2017/18 season under manager Jose Mourinho and has not looked back.

He had injuries to thank for his inclusion in the senior team, but a chance would have come sooner than later, anyway. 

Prior to the 2019/20 campaign, McTominay caught the attention of both United fans and footballer lovers with impressive displays both in the Premier League as well as the Champions League. 

He particularly shone against Paris Saint Germain in the knockout phase as the Red Devils overturned a two-goal deficit to qualify 3-2 on aggregate. 

That night in Paris, a hero was born, and he showed even further maturity in the quarterfinals against a Messi-led Barcelona side at Old Trafford. 

Back in the Premier League, he dominated the midfield against Liverpool at Old Trafford when United needed cover following a series of injuries again. 

One thing has stood out in his developing career; his trajectory growth curve.

He has picked on the new campaign from where he left the last and is arguably United's best player at the moment. 

Paul Pogba's absence has not been severe this campaign thanks to McTominay. His ability to provide leadership in the middle of the park has been crucial, with the team evidently struggling in his absence. 

Skills, character, and style of play 

The Scotland international stands at 6ft 4ins. Despite his height, he can run and has immense energy that gives United a totally different dimension. 

He uses his energy to break the lines inside the middle third and launches counter-attacks which the likes of Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial thrive on. 

The 22-year-old has also added a goalscoring knack to his qualities and has scored three goals this season, including the sweet strike against Arsenal.

According to Reserves coach Warren Joyce, McTominay's ability to keep the ball mixed with good skills set him apart. 

"Scott has just burst onto the scene," Joyce said in an interview with the club's official website. "He could be a proper box-to-box aggressive midfielder and we need to be mindful of that.

"He’s a really good footballer, technically sound with good skills and excellent in the keep-ball sessions."

Managers sing his praises 

Jose Mourinho gave the youngster the chance to mix and learn from the senior squad, of course, because he was good, before Ole Gunnar took over. 

The youngster came to haunt the Portuguese two years later, bossing the midfield as the Reds won 2-1 against Mourinho's Spurs on Wednesday night and he had only praises for the Scotland international. 

“They had more emotion than us,” the Portuguese coach said after the match “You see, for example, McTominay’s performance ... he was dominant. He was dominant.”

His manager, who was pleased to name him in the starting lineup following an injury, was like a proud dad after the match. 

“You can almost say he is undroppable at the moment,” Solskjaer told reporters.

“The physical presence he gives us, the leadership he gives us in midfield, he also releases Fred.”

“He comes into the training ground every day with a fantastic attitude and that’s the way to improve,” 

Key season statistics so far

  • Age - 22
  • Appearances - 64
  • Total Goals - 3


  • Total shots - 15
  • Shots on target - 6
  • Shots off target - 9


  • Passing accuracy - 80%
  • Successful passes (oppo half) - 374
  • Unsuccessful passes (oppo half) - 122
  • Successful passes (own half) - 280
  • Unsuccessful passes (own half) - 45


  • Tackles won - 18/38
  • Duels won - 101/173
  • Aerial duels won - 28/52
  • 50-50s won - 0


  • Appearances - 17
  • Starts - 16
  • Substituted on - 1
  • Substituted off - 3
  • Minutes played 1418

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