sport news Man United rookie Scott McTominay in Jose Mourinho mould

Seasoned -watchers who have watched Scott McTominay come through the ranks describe him as a big, strong lad who will run willingly, but of limited technical ability compared to the silky-smooth players that modern-day Premier League academies produce these days.

Some managers would be put off by that – but not Jose Mourinho. 

With Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini out, he views 20-year-old McTominay as an identikit replacement, and the youngster didn't let him down against Benfica on Tuesday night with a neat, tidy and disciplined performance in United's engine room.

Scott McTominay celebrates after Daley Blind's penalty doubled Manchester United's lead

Scott McTominay celebrates after Daley Blind's penalty doubled 's lead

It was also revealing that the manager – who likes his players to be physically robust – considered the kid tough enough to be sent out for the second half having been clattered by two Portuguese defenders either side of him.

McTominay's displayed was far more mature than his CV would have suggested. 

It was just his sixth senior appearance, only his third start, and his only previous experience in Europe had been 60 seconds as a late substitute away to Benfica.

No worries. The 6ft 4ins defensive midfielder from Lancaster carried out his manager's instructions to the book, choose the simple option on the ball, go sideways and backwards if you have to, keep the pattern of play going rather than risk losing possession.

In other words, provide stability with Nemanja Matic, while Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial and Juan Mata could work their flair and imagination further up the field.

The 20-year-old was making only his sixth senior appearance on Tuesday night

The 20-year-old was making only his sixth senior appearance on Tuesday night

Jose Mourinho handed the midfielder a surprise start in the 2-0 win over Benfica

Jose Mourinho handed the midfielder a surprise start in the 2-0 win over Benfica

McTominay won the ball back seven times for his team in

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