Scott McTominay is a Man United leader, says Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees plenty of promise in Scott McTominay, who has been tipped as a future Manchester United captain by some fans.

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay.   -  Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer agrees Scott McTominay has become a leader at the club.

McTominay's form has been one of United's major bright spots during a difficult first three months of the season, in which the Red Devils have won only three Premier League matches.

The 22-year-old midfielder produced another standout display in the 2-1 EFL Cup success at Chelsea on Wednesday to help United to a third away win in succession, with Solskjaer's side having shown signs of recovery since its 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

Some supporters have begun to discuss the prospect of a future captaincy for McTominay, who was brought into the first team by Jose Mourinho and even given a special 'manager's player of the year' prize at United's end-of-season awards in 2018.

'Good relationship'

When asked about the prospect of McTominay wearing the armband, Solskjaer told reporters on Friday: "He's been excellent. Him and Fred, they're working a good relationship, they have played well together. They did that last season: Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, there were quite a few games where they played together when we had some injuries. Now they're working as a pair.

"But Scotty has been excellent. He's a leader, he's a Man United boy, he's come through the ranks — you can see he's been a striker with the goal he scored against Norwich [City], on the half-turn — but he's developing into a very good midfielder."

United's win over Chelsea was secured by two goals from Marcus Rashford — a penalty and then a stunning free-kick. The England international has now managed four goals in his past four appearances in all competitions, and Solskjaer is happy to see him thriving alongside fit-again Anthony Martial.

"Anthony's come back, Marcus has flourished as well, blossomed," he said. "He is probably happier facing goal, being direct, driving at people, taking players on, instead of being a target man with back to goal.

 

"But Marcus wants to master all the skills in the end. He's only 22, just turned 22, so I'm sure we'll see him up front as a No. 9 if he'd like, maybe as a two with Anthony, maybe now as a three like we did against Norwich, or wide like we did against Chelsea… there are different ways of playing with Marcus.

"It was important for him and for me that he stepped up and took that penalty against Chelsea."

On an upswing

United faces Bournemouth on Saturday seeking to triumph in a fourth match in a row for the first time since the eight-game winning run it enjoyed when Solskjaer was named caretaker manager last December. Solskjaer believes a combination of good work in the most recent international break, the return of some stars from injury and the boost from a positive performance against Liverpool have all contributed to the team's recent upturn in form.

"The international break came at a great time for us," he said. "We did some work and prepared well for the Liverpool game. When you get a decent performance and result against the league leaders, that gives you a bit more energy, and from then on the boys have just… they were happy with the work we did, maybe the change of system helped, so the coaches have done a great job.

"Every new game is an opportunity to show what you can do. I didn't play every game, so every game I played for this club was a chance for me to show the manager that I should play the next game. That's what these boys feel like as well now because we're getting players back — we don't just have the 11, 12, 13 fit ones.

"At the moment, the boys look like they're playing on instinct than having that extra split second to think, which I spoke about a few weeks ago."

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