London (AFP) – Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is predicting a bright future for the “amazing” Scott McTominay, who has forced his way into Jose Mourinho’s first team despite fierce competition for places.
McTominay’s selection ahead of club-record signing Paul Pogba for last week’s Champions League clash at Sevilla underlined Mourinho’s trust in the player and he was also handed a starting role in Sunday’s 2-1 comeback win against Chelsea.
The 21-year-old’s performances have seen him shortlisted alongside David De Gea and Romelu Lukaku for United’s player of the month award, as well as earning admiration from team-mates.
“He is amazing,” Matic said after United’s victory against Chelsea, when McTominay made just the 10th competitive start of his career.
“He is 21 and to play like that and control the game like that is impressive. He will be a big player for Manchester United.
“I like him because he is a very nice guy and he doesn’t have a problem to ask before the game something and I am always there to help him.
“When I came to Manchester I saw within a few days he would become a top player.”
McTominay’s rise could lead to an international tug of war between England and Scotland. He has not represented either nation at any level.
A late developer who has rocketed to 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 metres)in recent years, the midfielder has retained his ability on the ball and has impressed team-mates such as Chris Smalling from the outset.
“He’s been training with us for quite a while, even last season,” the United defender said. “But he’s been sort of thrust into some big games, be it Seville or here, and he’s not phased.
“You can see him crunching into tackles and that’s what we do in training. He goes through people. It’s good that he’s stepped up to his mark.”
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