Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag admits impactful player he’s not selecting isn’t happy, with star backed to make huge exit decision

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag has admitted a Manchester United star who’s been ousted from his strongest eleven deserves more minutes and won’t be happy with his bench role, while a club legend has talked up a major exit decision come the summer.

Man Utd had won three on the spin heading into Sunday’s clash with Luton Town. The upturn in form had coincided with Rasmus Hojlund finding his shooting boots and Ten Hag deploying a new midfield pairing of Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo.

The unlucky loser amid the rise of the Mainoo-Casemiro pairing is Scott McTominay who’s been relegated to the bench.

The Scotland international, 27, has chipped in with eight goals for United this season. The last of those helped Man Utd snatch all three points when McTominay bagged an 86th-minute winner against Aston Villa one week ago.

However, the Scot’s goalscoring exploits counted for naught in the midfield selection battle, with Mainoo and Casemiro once again getting the nod at Luton.

Prior to the Hatters clash, Ten Hag was asked about McTominay’s standing and status within the club by Sky Sports reporter Emma Saunders.

“Is it getting more and more difficult not to start Scott McTominay with the goals he’s scoring and the points he’s helping you win,” asked Saunders.

Ten Hag admitted: “Yes, it’s very difficult and he deserves to play. But I can’t line up with 12 [players].

“Definitely he’s one who’s always in my mind, during the week how can we put him in the starting eleven.

“Definitely a hard choice, but as you know he’s also very good coming from the bench. But I know what the player will say, he will not like it [being used off the bench].”

McTominay was once again used off the bench vs Luton when called upon to replace the booked Casemiro at half time.

Should McTominay back himself and leave?

Man Utd were open to cashing in on McTominay last summer, though an exit obviously did not come to pass.

When recently discussing the midfielder’s future, United legend Rio Ferdinand suggested a big decision – from McTominay as much as Man Utd – lays in wait at the end of the season.

“I don’t think anyone has scored as many last-minute goals or late goals as him, as winners,” said Ferdinand. “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?”

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