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January 17, 2021

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Man Utd news: Rio Ferdinand wants to see Scott McTominay unleashed in box-to-box role

3 min read

McTominay ran the show against Leeds (Picture: Getty Images)

Rio Ferdinand believes the shackles should be taken off Scott McTominay to allow the midfielder to flourish like he did in Manchester United’s 6-2 win over Leeds United on Sunday.

McTominay was given license to get forward and showcased his goalscoring ability with two goals inside the first three minutes of the game at Old Trafford.

The Scotland international was deservedly given the man of the match award as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side put in a rampant display to move up to third in the Premier League table.

Solskjaer has opted to play McTominay in a holding role (Picture: Getty Images)

McTominay has largely been restricted to a holding midfield role this season, but Red Devils legend Ferdinand believes the 24-year-old has the right combination of attributes to be used as a box-to-box player.

‘Scott McTominay needs special, special mention because he’s got shackles on at the moment,’ Ferdinand said on Rio Ferdinand presents FIVE.

‘I think he’s a real box-to-box player. He can play the holding role but I feel that he’s got that energy and dynamism that he can get up and down as you saw in the game at the weekend.

‘He can get past people and blow midfields open. His physicality is frightening.

‘Sometimes you’re sitting there thinking, ‘Please just let him off, let him go’.

‘His strongest part of his game isn’t being showcased every week because he’s having to play in a more defensive, disciplined role which is part of football but sometimes you want your players playing in their best positions.

‘I’m sure Ole will work it out and he gave him license at the weekend to get forward and we saw the results.’

Speaking after the Leeds win, Solskjaer hailed McTominay but admitted he has had to prevent the midfielder from charging up the pitch so often.

‘Scott used to be a striker as a kid,’ the Norwegian boss told BBC Radio 5 Live. ‘He is a physical monster – he can win in the air, he wins tackle, but he’s so strong and he’s quick as well.

‘He just ran into the space that we hoped he would get and it was good work by the other players to create the space and good finishes.

‘I have to stop Scott from doing that sometimes – he is an attacking midfielder by nature. But when he sees space in front of him, why stop him? But he’s great at shielding his back four.’


MORE : Gary Neville rates Manchester United’s title chances after Leeds win


MORE : Luke Shaw admits Manchester United are too reliant on ‘special’ Bruno Fernandes

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