The transfer talk is all well and good, but now it is time to get closer to the end of our season ending reviews. The 2020-21 campaign has been over for a while now, but we are also slowly getting closer to the end of our mid-season series. The next player we are going to write about is Scott McTominay. The Scotland international has had a great year behind him, becoming one of the more regular players in the starting XI for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, but also one of the leaders for his national team. Scotland qualified to the European Championship after a long wait and McTominay was an important part in the team’s efforts this summer. But let’s take a look at how he fared for Man United during the previous season.
This was a really good season for Scott McTominay. He made 49 appearances for Manchester United across five competitions and he even managed to score seven and assist two goals in the process. He managed to accumulate 3424 minutes on the pitch, showing that he was one of the players Solskjaer did not have a problem putting faith in. In fact, McTominay was part of Solskjaer’s preffered central midfield partnership, most often alongside Fred, and you could see that through the other numbers. The Scotland international played 32 Premier League games, six in the Europa League and five in the Champions League. Also, he was important in our FA Cup run with four games and two goals and he also featured twice in the League Cup.
Looking at the more advanced numbers, we can see why Solskjaer was putting so much faith in him. McTominay was reliable in possession, if not really great, but he was doing a ton of defensive work, which was why he played. The manager prefers his two central midfielders to offer security to the back four and McTominay did so. He had 1.91 interceptions per 90 minutes in the past year, 2.17 blocks, 2.00 clearances and 1.91 aerials won, which all put him between the 80th and 88th percentile among other Premier League midfielders. Where McTominay lacked was in pressures made on opponents, with 15.27 per 90 minutes, ending up in the lowest quarter of Premier League midfielders.
McTominay’s statistical display showed that stylistically he was the most resembling to the way Declan Rice played for West Ham and Franck Kessie played for Milan, which is a good indicator of the type of his performances, but still, there was a feeling of something missing in Man United’s central midfield.
Scott McTominay has had a very good season and he hopefully he will continue to evolve as a player. What Man United got in him is a pretty decent, reliable player, but ultimately not someone who is going to make a huge difference in team’s performances. At least not yet. What McTominay lacks in his game is ability to offer more support attacking-wise, but that could also be down to the fact Solskjaer does not like his central midfield partnership to be too liberal, especially when those two are McTominay and Fred. Man United have been missing more creativity from these deeper areas, at least in breaking the lines with incisive passing, but we will see if that is something that McTominay will further improve this coming season…