'McTominay could be Man Utd captain in the future' – McIlroy backs midfielder for leadership role

A United great thinks the Scottish midfielder has been “unbelievable” since breaking into the first team and sees him inheriting the armband one day

Scott McTominay could be the “ideal choice” to captain Manchester United in the future, according to Sammy McIlroy, who has been impressed by the 22-year-old’s rise to prominence.

McTominay graduated from the United academy in 2017, having made his way through the youth ranks after joining the club’s development centre at the age of five.

The Scotland international was made to wait for his chance to shine, but made a significant breakthrough at Old Trafford at the end of the 2017-18 campaign under Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese took a shine to the midfielder due to his work rate and determination on the pitch, trusting him to perform in big matches despite his lack of experience at the highest level.

McTominay has also endeared himself to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the Norwegian’s appointment as United’s head coach, emerging as a key member of the squad in recent months.

He has already racked up 13 Premier League appearances this term, earning plenty of praise for his performances across the middle of the park amid the team’s inconsistent form.

McTominay has proved himself as a real leader on several occasions, most recently as the Red Devils earned a 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Wednesday, with McIlroy of the opinion that he could end up captaining the side one day.

“McTominay has been absolutely unbelievable,” the United legend told Love Sport Radio. 

“When he first came in I was thinking maybe he could be a squad player, maybe we’d need him in certain games, but the boy has taken it by the scruff of the neck and been our best midfield player this season.

“He was magnificent against Spurs the other day. He battles, he works, he’s a box to box midfielder and he’s tough in the challenge. He’s been superb.

“He could maybe be club captain in the future. I think [Harry] Maguire will be the next captain, but I think midfield players make good captains because they’re involved with everything.

“McTominay is a Scottish international now, he’s growing in confidence and maybe down the line he could be an ideal choice.”

McTominay will likely retain his place in Solskjaer’s starting 11 for a huge derby clash with Manchester City on Saturday evening.

The Red Devils can move to within eight points of their rivals with a win, while also closing the gap between themselves and fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for the final Champions League spot.

United will resume Europa League duties thereafter, with AZ Alkmaar set to arrive at Old Trafford on December 12 for a final Group L encounter.

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