Celtic should make a move to sign Scott McTominay on loan
According to a report from The Scottish Sun, Celtic are mulling the possibility of signing Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay on loan for the rest of the season.
The 22-year-old Scotsman broke into the first-team for the 20-time English champions last season under then manager Jose Mourinho but has seen his stock fall in the ongoing campaign.
And with game time not forthcoming under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who took over Mourinho last month, there is a possibility that Manchester United will consider loaning the midfielder out. And Celtic are believed to be monitoring his situation keenly. (h/t The Scottish Sun)
McTominay has been with Manchester United since 2007. Having risen through the youth ranks at the club, the midfielder made his first-team debut coming on as a substitute against Arsenal in May 2017. The 22-year-old was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the fallout between Mourinho and United’s record signing Paul Pogba last season and went on to make 23 appearances for the Red Devils.
Following his breakthrough campaign, McTominay was named the Manager’s Player of the Year by Mourinho in Manchester United’s end of the season awards ceremony. But the midfielder found himself on the fringes of first-team action in the 2018-19 campaign under the Portuguese and started just three Premier League fixtures.
Under Solskjaer, he has featured for just one minute in the English top-flight but did start in the club’s FA Cup third-round tie against Reading earlier this month. And with the likes of Pogba, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Andreas Pereira all ahead of him in the pecking order, coupled with the emergence of teenager James Garner as an option, his first-team prospects look bleak.
Celtic have made a strong recovery after a dodgy start to the season. The Hoops have made it past the group stages of the UEFA Europa League and have already added another trophy to their cabinet, lifting the Scottish League Cup.
Injuries have plagued Brendan Rodgers’ side throughout the first half of the campaign, exposing the lack of depth in certain areas in their squad.
While the Hoops have taken steps towards addressing that by recruiting Timothy Weah (on loan from PSG), Oliver Burke (on loan from West Bromwich Albion) and Vakoun Issouf Bayo (permanent transfer from DAC Dunajska Streda), another addition in defence and in the middle of the park wouldn’t go amiss.
Captain Scott Brown has had to face injury issues, while summer signing Youssouf Mulumbu has failed to make the desired impact. Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham are excellent options to have in the ranks. But amid reports that Nir Bitton and Eboue Kouassi could be allowed to leave this month (h/t Daily Record), Celtic could find themselves short on numbers.
McTominay might not be the classiest of the midfielders going around but the 22-year-old has displayed that he has the right attitude and discipline to grow into a solid option in the middle of the park. His performance in Manchester United’s win over Chelsea last season and the fact that he started high-profile matches in the UEFA Champions League under Mourinho indicate that the Scotsman can be a reliable performer in big games.
The midfielder has looked short on confidence this term, but a regular run of games and backing from the manager could be the key to turning his fortunes around. And Rodgers has shown previously that he can get the best out of promising young players.
Moreover, with his chances of first-team football unlikely to improve at Old Trafford anytime soon, Celtic might well get the chance to sign him on a permanent deal in the summer or extend the loan spell for another year. Might well be worth the punt for the Scottish champions.