Scott McTominay puts the club before himself and is now showing what he's capable of. This is his chance to be the next success story from United's illustrious academy, says Scott Patterson, author of The Republik of Mancunia blog
Marcus Rashford was celebrating smacking the ball in to the top corner from 35 yards out against Chelsea with the rest of his team when Scott McTominay came sliding in to the shot, travelling along the pitch towards the away end, deliriously happy.
This is an image that Manchester United supporters have become accustomed to since the 22-year-old made his way in to the first team. Having joined the club when he was five, it is understandable that he may celebrate goals the way a pitch invader might, as he loves the club as much as any other supporter does.
When United came back from 2-0 down to beat rivals City at the Etihad the season before last, McTominay headed straight to the away fans, grabbing his badge and mirroring the joy they all felt.
Scott McTominay has proven to be one of Manchester United's star performers this season
He has turned into a leader at Manchester United while others have been out injured
That same season, when United had beaten Liverpool at Old Trafford, it was McTominay thumping the air, fists clenched, as he patrolled around the pitch in celebration with the supporters.
Against Norwich last weekend, McTominay celebrated Rashford's goal more wildly than he did his own, giving a perfect insight to who he is as a player, someone who puts the club first.
Ahead of this weekend's game against Bournemouth, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: 'Scotty has been excellent. He's a leader, he's a Manchester United boy and you can tell he used to be a striker with the goal he scored against Norwich on the half-turn. He's developing into very good midfielder.'
But just loving United isn't enough to hold down a place in the team and earn respect from the fans. We've seen plenty of players come and go from the academy, all of whom were desperate to make a name for themselves in a stadium they had dreamed of playing in since they were a boy, but failed to live up to early expectations.
McTominay made his debut for United towards the end of the 2016-17 season, when Jose Mourinho picked a side full of second-string players in a bid to keep his best team fit and ready for the upcoming Europa League final. It wasn't until the following season that he was used more regularly, playing in over 20 games in all competitions.
Mourinho created an award for the midfielder at the end of season's do. While criticised for the fairly cynical move, with the egotistical manager wanting a pat on the back for giving a young player a go, he explained why he believed McTominay deserved recognition.
'This kid cannot go home without an award,' Mourinho said, when explaining his introduction of the Manger's Player of the Year prize. 'Scott gives to every other kid the belief that their dream can arrive. This player gives everything. For me there are not young players or old players, it's about the quality of the personality and this kid has everything I want, so I think that it is good for the younger boys in the academy to look at him as an example.'
The Scotland international scored in Manchester United's 3-1 win over Norwich last weekend
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a big admirer of the box-to-box Manchester United midfielder
Goals: 2sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon