Scott McTominay's emergence has been 'frightening', says former Scotland star Colin Hendry

Matt Jones - Editor 11:53 03/03/2018
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Great Scott: McTominay.

Colin Hendry believes Scott McTominay’s emergence has been “frightening” considering the class of players that surround him at Manchester United.

Little was known about the 21-year-old when he was named on the substitutes’ bench against Swansea City in the Premier League last April. He started his first game the following month, the final game of the 2016/17 season, a 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace.

The rangy midfielder was named on the pre-season tour to America and in Jose Mourinho’s first-team squad for this season, and he’s gone on to make 15 appearances and quite an impression on both Mourinho and United fans, with calm, assured performances.

His form has not gone unnoticed higher up either and it appears McTominay could be in the midst of a tug-of-war for his services internationally, with both England and Scotland keen.

Newly-appointed Scotland boss Alex McLeish met with McTominay on Thursday amid uncertainty over the midfielder’s international future.

England boss Gareth Southgate, meanwhile, was scheduled to attend United’s Carrington training ground on Friday to meet a player born in Lancaster, but who qualifies for Scotland through his Glaswegian father, although he is yet to be capped for either country at any level.

McTominay has been thrust into the limelight of late as he’s been picked by Mourinho instead of the under-performing Paul Pogba. And former Scotland international Hendry has been impressed by what he’s seen from the youngster.

Paul Pogba 4

“That’s the frightening thing, how well he’s done with the players around him and who you consider United can go and buy at the drop of a hat,” said former Blackburn centre-back Hendry, who also played for United’s rivals Manchester City.

“All the big clubs can just go and buy who they want. Unfortunately for most clubs in that division, Man City can really go and buy who they want.

“But when they do buy, it genuinely fits and you don’t get a lot of times where the players you buy don’t fit.

“Scott’s done well and he’s there on merit. The most important thing is what you do in the game and he’s done himself justice by playing well, and that’s why he’s been selected.

“If that’s a position Jose’s looking to maybe strengthen next year he’ll be saying to himself now ‘you know what, I’ve got something better than what I can buy’ and save himself £30-40m in that position and stick with him, and try and get the rest of the team to gel better than what they have done.

“A lot of people are critical of Jose with the way he sets his team out, it’s not really the Man Utd way to be fair. But there’s a lot of steps.”

Hendry doesn’t buy into all the recent criticism thrown Pogba’s way and believes if Mourinho paid the eye-watering amount United paid to bring him back from Juventus, he has to build his team around him.

“Pogba’s a good player, he is. Most teams would like him,” Hendry told Sport360 after featuring for Scotland Legends in a 7-4 defeat to England Legends at the JA Centre of Excellence on Friday.

“It’s how you play him, how you use him. Within the method of Jose and what he’s trying to do and his selection and how he sets his team out, he shouldn’t be accommodating him, he should be basing his team around him.

“You sign (Alexis) Sanchez, Pogba. You have (Marcus) Rashford and (Anthony) Martial, top, top players.

“You should be utilising these sorts of players far better than what he has done so far.”

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