Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel has expressed his surprise at Erik ten Hag putting Scott McTominay up for sale in the summer, after the midfielder rescued his team against Brentford on Saturday afternoon.
Following surprise home defeats to Crystal Palace and Galatasaray, Man Utd supporters will have been fearing the worst when Brentford took the lead at Old Trafford in the 26th minute. Casemiro had given the ball away in the centre of the pitch and this allowed Brentford to pounce.
Victor Lindelof also failed to clear his lines before Matias Jensen finished past Andre Onana with a low left-footed effort. Onana probably should have done better, meaning it is another mistake for the summer arrival to cope with.
Man Utd went into the break 1-0 down. In the second half, Ten Hag made several changes, bringing on the likes of Antony, Christian Eriksen and Alejandro Garnacho.
In the 87th minute, he turned to McTominay. And the Scotland international repaid that faith by brilliantly netting two stoppage-time goals to hand Man Utd a dramatic 2-1 win.
In the third minute of injury time, McTominay fired into the bottom corner on his right foot following good work by Garnacho out wide.
And four minutes later, McTominay sent the Man Utd crowd into raptures when he headed in off the post, which came after Harry Maguire won the first aerial challenge from a long free-kick. That saw the Red Devils pick up all three points with a 2-1 victory.
Man Utd clearly would not have won the match without McTominay. But he almost left in the summer as he was placed on the transfer market. West Ham pushed hard to take him to the London Stadium, while Newcastle and Fulham were also linked.
Peter Schmeichel lauds Man Utd match-winner
Ultimately, McTominay ended up staying in Ten Hag’s squad, much to the delight of Schmeichel. During an appearance on SuperSport (07/10, at 17:18), the former goalkeeper questioned why a transfer was ever on the cards.
“He [McTominay] has got the ability to do that [win games]. Sometimes I don’t understand what coaches are doing. Scott McTominay has been up for sale all summer. I don’t understand that, He’s a fantastic player,” Schmeichel said.
“You need utility players, players that can play different positions. [Ones] that can come from the bench and change the outcome of a game, and he’s definitely one of them.”
Fellow pundit Darren Bent added: “First of all, he cares. I think that’s the biggest thing. He understands.
“People always talk about the DNA of Man Utd, Jonny Evans has got that, you look at McTominay, he knows what it means to play for Man Utd. And you could see when he came on there, it was a hunger, desire, ‘I’m gonna show you’ [attitude]. [He] gets two goals and he’s the hero.”
McTominay has fallen down the pecking order at Man Utd due to Ten Hag also being able to select the likes of Casemiro, Sofyan Amrabat and Eriksen. But against Brentford, McTominay showed that he has more desire and hunger than those players to win matches for Man Utd.
The 26-year-old could therefore end up being crucial if Man Utd need goals when Rasmus Hojlund and Marcus Rashford are not firing on all cylinders.
As McTominay’s current contract is due to expire in June 2025, it would make sense if the club completed a U-turn and ended all the speculation by handing him a new deal.