Scott McTominay has been told he can become more effective in one department if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer changes his role for Manchester United.
McTominay has established himself as a regular starter in Solskjaer’s midfield for Man Utd. He usually plays as part of a double pivot alongside Fred. In truth, it is an area the club are looking to upgrade. But the Scotland international is far from their main concern.
Even so, some believe Man Utd could find a way to get more out of their academy graduate. Despite playing as a striker in his youth career, he has not been a frequent goalscorer at senior level.
Last season, he got seven goals from 49 appearances in all competitions. It was the best tally of his career for a single season to date.
But according to one club legend, he could continue his growth and become even more dependable as a finisher if given the responsibility.
Bryan Robson, who played more than 450 matches for United and scored 99 goals, thinks Solskjaer could get more out of McTominay by not restricting his role down to the specifics.
He told BBC Sport: “I think the coaches have changed that to a certain degree. They either want an attacking midfield player or they want a sitting midfield player.
“But I still think that there’s people out there who can do box to box and they’ve just got to work a little bit harder on getting the finishing right. And I think we’ve got one at this club.
“I mean Scott McTominay, I don’t think he has to be a sitting midfield player and just be classed as a defending midfield player. He scored seven goals last year and I think where Scott can maybe improve as a player is just to try and get anywhere between 10 and 15 goals a season.
“And as a central midfield player, if you stay away from injury, then you can achieve that. And I think Scott’s got that in his locker.”
Interestingly, Solskjaer was recently asked about his ideal midfield player. He replied that he prefers players who can do it all.
He responded: “I’m not here to explain every single detail of how I want my team to play. We want central midfielders who can play.
“Today’s football is about he’s a good 6, 8, 10; back in the day you had proper midfielders, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Bryan Robson. You see players out there who can attack and defend and that’s what we look for, midfielders who are complete and we try to develop that in our midfield.
“It’s a balance between with how many you commit forward and how you defend because one little mistake and there’s a counter attack towards you.
Therefore, he may well take Robson’s advice and give McTominay more freedom if it fits in with his tactical plans.
Man Utd told ideal midfield upgrade
Meanwhile, just over a week ago, one former United captain advised the club on who they should sign to play in midfield.
The deal in question could have Fred and McTominay wondering whether they will still be regulars.
Ashley Young thinks the perfect solution for United would be Marco Verratti of Paris Saint-Germain and Italy.
The current Aston Villa wide man said: “The Michael Carrick type has been missing for years. They haven’t gone out and replaced Michael Carrick.
“Don’t get me wrong – Fred and McTominay are good players but I don’t think there’s a Michael Carrick around.
“I was watching the PSG v City game yesterday [28th September] and I think Marco Verratti is the closest one and nobody’s gone out to test the water to try to sign him. I think he would be an unbelievable signing for Manchester United.”