Alex McLeish asked if Manchester United would let Scott McTominay leave on loan – but the former Scotland boss insists the midfielder hasn’t looked back since.

The battler is a key player for Scotland, able to play in defence or midfield for current manager Steve Clarke. He has also cemented himself as a firm part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United plans, but that wasn’t always the case.

A key figure for Manchester United and Scotland.

A key figure for Manchester United and Scotland. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

McTominay made his Premier League debut for Manchester United in the 2016/17 season before making his Scotland bow in 2018. It wasn’t until last season he hit double digits in starts during one Premier League campaign, McLeish pushing to get him more games while Scotland boss.

But he’s glad things have panned out the way they have (BBC): “There was a wee period where I felt a little bit worried because he wasn’t getting in the Man Utd side at the beginning of his Scotland tenure that would hurt his chances of getting regular outings with the national team.

“But very quickly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer realised ‘I’ve got to get this big guy in the team’. I actually had a chat with Scott’s agent asking if it was possible to get him out on loan if Utd weren’t going to play him.

Scotland v Albania - UEFA Nations League C

Asked for a loan stint. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“He was a talent just waiting to be unleashed but the agent said ‘I don’t think they’ll loan him out at the moment’. Within weeks of me having that conversation he was in the team and never looked back and that’s the difference.

“You can see the rise of Scott McTominay from the day I played him against Costa Rica in his first game. He was just a kid, he was just learning and he didn’t have all the answers on that particular day. He’s now got a lot of answers and he’ll get even more with the experience of these games.”

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