Scott McTominay in his centre-back role continued over the latest international break. The Scotsman proving he can handle playing at the posting if given the chance to perform at club level. No surprise that Manchester United have been poor defensively this season. Tuanzebe and Jones injuries and Bailly fitness worries, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could take the decision to play McTominay as a centre back, a position he’s featured recently for the Scottish National Team. Maguire and Lindelof have found it difficult to settle in this season and has raised questions over United’s starting XI. The duo conceded 36 Premier League goals, third best defensive unit in the league closely behind Manchester City (35) and Liverpool (34) last season. Three goals conceded against Crystal Palace, two against Brighton and Hove Albion and of course a disgraceful performance from the back-line which saw United concede six against Tottenham Hotspur.
Scott McTominay for Scotland
If you can remember vividly, McTominay has previously played in defence for United, during Jose Mourinho’s reign. Despite McTominay’s initial struggle to adapt, Mourinho praised his ‘special character’. Also while drawing attention to the Scotsman’s quality at passing out from the back.
“I have to praise people like Scot McTominay who played in positions that not his positions” – Jose Mourinho on McTominay.
Mourinho continued –“He had a fantastic attitude, he is aggressive, brave and had something that we thought was important for us, which is quality on the ball. He knows how to play football, he’s technically good, he can bring the ball into offensive areas”.
The 23-year-old was trialled at centre-back during September’s international break. It wasn’t a stellar showing. McTominay struggled in both Nations League games against Israel and the Czech Republic.
It is vivid that McTominay possessed the physique for the role, but lacked the tactical awareness.
Scotland’s most recent games against Israel – this time in a European Championship qualifier – and Slovakia. Scotland kept two clean sheets in a row, and are now one match away from qualifying for next year’s Euros. Not only did McTominay perform for Scotland’s match against Israel, but he actually put in a more assured performance. Israel were only able to muster one shot on target in open play.
Manchester United legend, Gary Neville was one of the first to publicly acknowledge Scott McTominay’s potential as a central defender.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to use McTominay as a defender but will most likely do so if the situation arises.