Manchester United have a long and storied history of giving their young academy players an opportunity in the first team and 21-year-old midfielder Scott McTominay was the beneficiary of that club principle last night.
McTominay, who made his Premier League debut against Arsenal in May, started and finished the 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
And the Englishman’s performance has left Man United supporters eager to see more of him in the near future.
Displaying similar characteristics to Michael Carrick, McTominay provided the link between defence and attack and split Bournemouth’s defence with a series of accurate passes.
“Scott McTominay was a breath of fresh air in Manchester United’s midfield and was quite easily the best player on the pitch,” wrote Liam Canning for Yahoo Sport.
“McTominay proved that he is ready for this level after dominating the midfield battle and being incredibly solid throughout the 90 minutes.”
McTominay received praise from Mourinho
The academy graduate covered 12.18km - the most by any player last night - and Jose Mourinho was pleased with the youngster’s display in his first league start of the season.
“Scott didn’t look like it was any different for him to play in another match and another competition. He is ready to play, he had 90 minutes today, he had 90 minutes against CSKA [Moscow] and he is ready to play,” Mourinho said.
"He played 90 [minutes] because, in every match, he was an adult. He was not a kid, he was an adult playing really, really well."
What Man United fans are saying on Twitter
The feeling among Man United supporters on Twitter was one of excitement. Indeed, some would prefer to see McTominay start ahead of Ander Herrera on a regular basis.
Watch: McTominay's individual highlights
It’s safe to say McTominay has given Mourinho something to think about. Check out his individual highlights below.
The Portuguese watched on as Romelu Lukaku’s first-half header handed United an important victory.
Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City has left the Red Devils 11 points behind their rivals but Mourinho is unwilling to concede the title just yet.
"[The title race] is only over in May,” he told BBC Sport last night. “If it is over now I go on holiday to Brazil or Los Angeles."
Yet Mourinho will be acutely aware that his side must perform better if they are to catch Man City, who were superb in their 4-0 win at Swansea.
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