Former Old Trafford star Brian McClair says Scott McTominay could turn into a Manchester United great but the club risk losing him if he isn’t a regular in the starting XI.
The 23-year-old first emerged under Jose Mourinho despite the Portuguese coach’s penchant for picking experience over youth.
He made 23 appearances in all competitions in 2017-18, 22 the following season and had upped that to 27 in the current campaign before the Coronavirus pandemic put football into lockdown.
McTominay has also improved his goal output this term, netting five times after managing just two in the previous two seasons.
However, while that hints at smooth progress towards becoming a guaranteed starter, it’s not so simple.
The combative midfielder was close to joining Celtic on loan in January 2019 and, in part, he’s been given the chance to impress Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to the injury problems and absence of Paul Pogba.
Even if Pogba leaves, United have been strongly linked with moves for Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho while Solskjaer has plenty of other options in midfield.
United cult hero McClair believes that McTominay has all the attributes to be a huge hit for United but is concerned that his fellow Scot could be the target for other clubs if he doesn’t play regularly.
McClair told Superstar Speakers: “I think Scott McTominay, if he stays at Manchester United, will be a great player for Manchester United.
“It’s a similar thing to Darren Fletcher. He’s come through the youth system, he wants it, he’s a Manchester United fan, he’s determined. He’s overcome several situations with regards to growth spurts, injury and illness.
“I think he can be a Manchester United great. I hope that he will remain at Manchester United for long enough for that to occur but it would not surprise me if there were other clubs looking to recruit him in the not too distant future.”
McClair, now 56, added with a glint in his eye: “The best part of him is that he was born on a great day.” The two Scottish internationals share the same birthday (December 8).