Erik ten Hag is facing embarrassment as Scott McTominay’s impressive performance for Scotland clashes with Gary Neville’s recent assessment that the Manchester United manager appeared to be sidelining the midfielder.
McTominay, 26, scored the opening goal in Scotland’s 3-0 victory over Cyprus, maintaining their perfect start to Euro 2024 qualifying with five wins out of five in Group A. Meanwhile, Spain is in second place following a 7-1 win against Georgia.
Despite McTominay’s outstanding form for Scotland, where he’s scored six goals in five Euro 2024 qualifiers, he has had limited opportunities at Manchester United this season. He has only played for seven minutes in two late substitute appearances against Wolves and Nottingham Forest.
Ten Hag’s decision not to feature McTominay more often is puzzling, especially considering Manchester United’s current midfield concerns.
With Mason Mount injured and new signing Sofyan Amrabat sidelined due to a back problem, Manchester United’s midfield options were limited when facing Arsenal. Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, and Casemiro started in midfield, with little depth on the bench.
Gary Neville had previously suggested that Ten Hag appeared to be sidelining McTominay and might be trying to facilitate his departure from the club. Neville said, “What’s clear is that Manchester United’s midfield needs strengthening.
Ten Hag wants a number six who can play alongside Casemiro, and at the moment, the club can’t offload players to fund that move.”
“Ten Hag doesn’t seem inclined to revert to Scott McTominay,” Neville continued. “With Fernandes on the right, the midfield looks disorganized, and the front three doesn’t seem to function well.
Does Ten Hag turn back to McTominay? He has made five substitutions and not used him. It’s almost as if he is managing him out of the club.”
McTominay’s recent outstanding performances for Scotland highlight his potential, and Manchester United, facing a packed schedule before the next international break with seven fixtures, could benefit from utilizing him more frequently.