Manchester United club captain Michael Carrick has admitted young prospect Scott McTominay is likely to take his place in the future, and, in a typical show of class, the 36-year-old midfielder is eager to help his protégé through that process.
The whole squad is needed, particularly in the fast-paced position of central midfield, and McTominay has impressed when given an opportunity by Jose Mourinho. During an interview with MUTV at the Aon Training Complex, Carrick was full of praise for his 21-year-old team-mate.
“Scotty has done great,”Michael told us.
“The improvement has been so great over the last six to 12 months, when we’ve seen him training with us a lot more. You can see that he steps up to every challenge that has been set in every environment. He is an athlete. He is strong, quick and very good on the ball. He has got all of the attributes to have a really good career. He just needs those breaks at the right times, which so far he has had. Hopefully he will keep taking his chances.”
“He is willing to learn and listen. That is one of the biggest things for a young lad, to have that attitude. Of course I am here to help him and I try to do it as much as I can. I know he will take my place some day and that is not something I would be afraid of, or try to put him off, because it is important to help the future and Scott is definitely that. It is my responsibility to do all I can to help him. It is something I really enjoy, to see the younger lads coming in and getting a chance. Whether it be in my position or not, it’s how the game goes and how the club evolves.”
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Followers of the Academy will know that McTominay experienced an incredible transformation in his late teens, growing from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 foot 3 inches tall in one summer, which has been pivotal in his graduation.
Carrick believes Scott is a perfect example to show that prospects often need time to flourish.
“It is incredible,”Michael explained.
“My son is seven years old now and he loves his football. You hear other parents talking about ‘is he going to be a player?’ and it is crazy to even speak like that.
“Scotty was coming through the youth teams and Reserves, and he had different growth spurts to the other lads his age. He shot up and found it difficult for a bit of time, and then all of a sudden, at 19 to 21, he has blossomed and started to fulfil his potential. It can be late and that’s how it works. You don’t know at 16, 17 or 18 how you will be in the first team. Scott is a great example of that and Jesse was similar. That is the beauty of this place, the young lads are given a chance to develop at their own speed and when they are ready they can step up. Scotty has done that this season.”
McTominay: Carrick is a massive influenceVideo
THE MASTER AND APPRENTICE
In an interview with Premier League TV earlier this month, which you can watch above, McTominay highlighted Carrick when asked how the senior players have helped him this season.
“Every single day you can watch the players and you see players like Michael Carrick – you don’t have to say what a tremendous career he’s had,” Scott said.
“Me and Michael have had one-to-one chats and it’s helped me a lot. And obviously the manager – it’s incredible the amount of support that him and the coaching staff have given me, and the general key details in what you need to do to become a better footballer are crucial, and I’m starting to learn that now.”