Two Manchester United youngsters who could have a breakthrough season
Manchester United have a reputation for bringing up young talents to bolster their squad. While Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are the names that United have successfully deployed in their senior squad of late, there are a few others who have been on the fringes of the first-team.
The Red Devils have made a lacklustre start to their Premier League campaign, having accumulated 6 points from 4 games.
Mourinho has quite a few issues to sort out as United haven’t hit top gear early in the season. Having said that, the manager may be tempted to tinker with tactics and experiment with team dynamics by involving the exuberance of youth.
Here are two promising youngsters in United’s ranks who can nail down their spot in the first-team this season.
The youngster has risen up the ladder through the ranks of United’s youth academy and was promoted to the senior squad in the 2016/17 season before making his Premier League debut in the same season.
McTominay made a total of 13 appearances in the Premier League last season apart from being involved in the FA Cup and the League Cup as well.
Born to Scottish parents in England, McTominay started his career as a center-forward but struggled due to his diminutive figure. However, he gained a lot of height in the latter stages and shifted to a central midfield role.
Standing at 6ft 4in, the young Scot presents himself as a tall, towering figure in the midfield. As a central midfielder, he is capable of dictating the tempo of the game. Not only is he comfortable with the ball at his feet with a good technique, he also excels with his range of passing. He has the ability to create his own space in the midfield and can set up attacks while playing from a deep position.
With his physicality, he can be deployed as a box-to-box midfielder as well, and his height can be an asset for United in the opposition’s penalty area, particularly during set-pieces.
Mourinho can consider someone like McTominay for a box-to-box role and encourage Pogba to join the attack more often.
United have had a lot of problems regarding the stability of their defence of late and they look shaky at the back.
While the partnership of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof at the heart of the defence will take time to flourish, the full-backs, apart from Luke Shaw, haven’t been impressive either.
Mourinho signed Diogo Dalot from Porto for £19m to bolster the defence. The Portuguese U21 international has all the makings of a modern full-back, having good defensive and offensive attributes.
Even though he is primarily a right-back by trade, Dalot is equally capable of playing as a left-back. With good pace and nimble feet, the youngster is not afraid to venture into the opposition’s half. He can be quite a handful proposition with his crosses.
Still only 19, the young full-back has good composure for his tender years. While his positioning and marking is expected to improve with time, his raw talent is something that is difficult to ignore.
With Valencia not getting any younger, the youngster could straight away make a mark on United’s first-team this season once he regains full fitness.