Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand claims Man Utd star faces ‘big decision’ on future as Newcastle, West Ham linger

Scott McTominay celebrates his winner against Aston Villa with Rio Ferdinand in a small circle.

To stay with Man Utd or move for more first-team football? Rio Ferdinand says Scott McTominay faces a tough decision.

Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand believes Scott McTominay has a “big decision to make” in the summer after emerging as an important player under Erik ten Hag.

United youth product McTominay has enjoyed his most productive season in front of goal this term, having found the net eight times across 26 appearances in all competitions.

An injury-time brace saw Man Utd come from behind to beat Brentford in October, with McTominay also netting twice in the victory over Chelsea in December.

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McTominay’s latest decisive contribution came with a late header against Aston Villa on Sunday to keep United’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League alive.

Man Utd now sit six points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and five behind Villa in fifth with 14 league games remaining.

McTominay’s heroics come after the Scottish international was heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford last summer, with Newcastle United and West Ham United rumoured to be interested in the midfielder.

With recent reports indicating that Man Utd are preparing to offer the 27-year-old a new contract, Ferdinand says McTominay has a difficult choice to make over the next few months.

And the former defender likened his role in the United side to that of utility players such as Park Ji-sung, John O’Shea and Darren Fletcher during his own highly successful spell at the club.

He told talkSPORT: “I don’t think anyone has scored as many last-minute goals or late goals as him, as winners. He’s important to the squad you can see it, it’s there for all to see in black and white.

“I just think he’s got a big decision to make at the end of the season, there were rumours he was leaving in the summer, I think West Ham or someone were interested in taking him when Declan Rice left and you can see that.

“I think it’s up to him because he has the decision to make: does he want to stay at Man United and be somebody that can come on and impact games at times?

“He’s going to get a run of games here and there because of injuries and fatigue of players, if the best players in the team are fit he may not start all the time.

“Or does he want to go elsewhere and be a main, regular player in that team, a mainstay in a team that have probably got less aspirations than Man United – and obviously the glamour and the glitz that comes with Man United – and hopefully building towards success?

“That’s the decision I think he’s got to make and it’s down to him. Does he want to play more football and be a regular starter, or does he want to stay at Man United and do what he’s doing?

“If he was going to have the feelings that he’s having now, I don’t think it’s a decision, I think he stays because he’s scoring goals, impacting games, you still feel a big part of it.

McTominay impact compared to Solskjaer

“There is a role for somebody like that. There’s no way that Man United in my time, as successful as we were, without players that knew that they weren’t going to start every game when everyone was fit.

“Like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Park Ji-sung, John O’Shea, sometimes Darren Fletcher, a couple of years he was the first name [on the team sheet] but some years he was just getting in.

“Without those guys, I’m telling you, we do not win as much as we did or as consistently as we did because you need those guys.

“And who can come in, like Scott McTominay, and be an eight out of 10, or seven-and-a-half out of 10 [each game]? It’s tough to do that.”

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