The midfielder broke into the first team under Jose Mourinho and has explained why he was never tempted to leave
The former Man Utd manager gave the Scotland international his debut off the bench at the Emirates against Arsenal in May 2017 before starting the then 20-year-old in the final fixture of the season vs Crystal Palace.
In 2018/19 he pushed his way into the first team squad making 27 appearances in all competitions and was given a unique accolade at the end of season awards dinner when Mourinho created a special honour of Manger’s Player of the Year.
The midfielder has kept his place in the first team over the last two seasons and is a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But, things could have turned out differently for the 23-year-old as he admitted a loan move for more experience could have been an option before Mourinho gave him a chance.
“Yeah, about a year and a half ago there was a time where it (a loan move) might have been a possibility and then somebody leaves or something like that, and then your opportunity comes and you have to take it,” McTominay told The Official United Podcast about being tempted to go out on loan. “You hear loads of stories about boys going on loan and different things like that and I always had it in my head that I don’t want that.
“I want to be showing myself here first and if it doesn’t work here then you go somewhere else. For me, you hear the stories about getting the life of luxury at Manchester United and people take that for granted, like the food in the canteen, your kit being laid out for you every morning. People just expect that and you have to always remember where you come from in that respect and always appreciate what people do for you. I feel like that is culture that is brought through for us.”
Man Utd utilise the loan system for a lot of their young players with a number coming back improved to push into the first team. And while McTominay didn’t need that opportunity in the end, others may benefit and Jesse Lingard, who had loan spells at Leicester, Brimingham, Brighton and Derby, has some advice for the next crop of stars coming through.
“Believe in yourself, in your own ability. For me, I was always small, when I was in the Under-18s I played most Under-16s games because a lot of people were bigger than me, but it didn’t faze me. I always worked hard, I always stayed behind, always did the right thing,” Lingard said.
“I think it’s just working hard, and sticking to the plan but, sometimes you go off course. I went on loan, I had to battle there and fight for my place when I came back to United. I got injured on my debut so I was out for six months, so I have had a lot of setbacks but if you keep fighting, work hard and keep believing, your dreams will come true.”