Making his way off after 70 minutes to rapturous applause from the Manchester United faithful, Scott McTominay made sure to let everyone know he was truly back.
The Scotland midfielder made his return from an injury lay-off almost spanning two months last weekend against Watford. His first start of 2020 came during Manchester United’s convincing 5-0 Europa League win over Club Brugge on Thursday.
It was a game in which he scored and screened the back four with ease, displaying promising signs for club and country.
Euro play-off boost
People were questioning whether McTominay was Man United quality not too long ago. The fact that a large majority of the Red Devils support were pining for his return following a Boxing Day ligament injury shows how much the enforcer has improved.
Old Trafford boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said numerous times that McTominay is a quick healer. That looks to be the case as against Brugge, the Scotland midfielder strolled it on a great night for his club side.
His goal was decent too. The Scotsman finished off a lovely attacking move by passing the ball with great technique into the bottom left-hand corner. Playing against ten men helped United but McTominay still looked sharp in the tackle and with some of his passing patterns.
Solskjaer must take some credit for molding McTominay into the player he is today. Whatever the Norwegian is doing with him must be working and the stats seems to prove it.
Last term the midfielder made 449 passes in 16 league matches. Already this season he’s made 816 in 18 appearances. 38 tackles have been put in this term compared to the ten placed in 2018/19, he’s tripled his amount of shots blocked, ten more interceptions have been registered and 11 more clearances highlight some vast improvements.
McTominay’s enjoying a brilliant campaign and having him back for the Euro 2020 play-off bid will be massive for Steve Clarke. The Scots boss has deployed the Red Devils man every time he’s had the chance since taking over as manager in June 2019.
A big end to the season awaits for United as their Europa League run continues and a top four push is well underway. For Scotland, there are potentially two huge fixtures coming up in March.
Having a fit McTominay will be crucial for both Manchester United and Scotland, so it’ll be a relief that it appears as if he’s starting where he left off in 2019.