Scott McTominay Says He Still Speaks to 'Very Special' Jose Mourinho After Games

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2019

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (R) talks with Manchester United's midfielder Scott McTominay (L) on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ben STANSALL / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has praised former manager Jose Mourinho for the influence he had on his development. 

The Scotland star has established himself as a regular for the Red Devils over the past year, having been handed his debut by Mourinho in 2017. The Portuguese manager was axed by United in December 2018, although McTominay has continued to impress under the tutelage of current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Speaking about the early stages of his United career, the youngster said he owes a lot to Mourinho for the faith he showed in him, per Sky Sports:

"Jose is very special to me. He still keeps in contact with me now and keeps in touch after some games.

"He'll always have a special place in mine and my family's heart because he's the one who brought you in, he was the one who trusted you, he was the one who had belief in you. I owe a tremendous amount of credit to him because if it wasn't for him I might not necessarily be sitting in this seat."

Here is more of what the United star had to say about his former coach:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

"Jose still keeps in contact with me" Scott McTominay admits Jose Mourinho is still a huge part of his career after giving him his chance at Manchester United 📺 Watch full exclusive interview here: https://t.co/usQGPJa8lT https://t.co/4noSgDGllx

The 22-year-old has been a mainstay of the United midfield this term, starting all eight of the team's Premier League games.

In the recent clash with Arsenal, the Scot scored his first goal of the campaign, lashing home a fierce strike from the edge of the box to break the deadlock in a 1-1 draw:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

#McSauce. 🔥 It took 45 minutes for a moment of quality but Scott McTominay delivers for Manchester United! 🎯 📺 Watch on Sky Sports Premier League 📱 Follow #MUNARS here: https://t.co/h8V2Jh8qX4 📲 Download the @SkySports app! https://t.co/boyAF1wY7J

Per Squawka Football, McTominay was outstanding in that match at Old Trafford:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Scott McTominay for Man Utd vs. Arsenal: • Most duels contested (18) • Most fouls won (5) • Most tackles (4) And his first goal at Old Trafford. 👏 https://t.co/z3yWSTjHzh

The youngster is beginning to show why Mourinho was keen to integrate him into the first-team setup when he was the United boss.

While McTominay may lack the natural creative talents Paul Pogba is blessed with, he adds a presence to the hub of the team when performing well. The Scotland international can win tackles and carry the ball forward into dangerous positions.

To become a true box-to-box midfielder he needs to improve his productivity in the final third. Football writer Stefan Bienkowski said recently he believes McTominay is more effective when he's forward-thinking:

Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski

Scott McTominay is much better* when he's going forward and making runs. He's not a defensive midfielder. *against San Marino

Mourinho clearly had belief in McTominay, and the midfielder has earned the trust of Solskjaer too. Given United are depleted in this part of the pitch, the Red Devils academy graduate will have a huge role to play this term.

The team have struggled so far this season, and they sit in 12th position in the table after eight games. Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool are up next for the Red Devils on Sunday, and you sense the team will need a colossal performance from McTominay in that encounter if they're to earn a positive result.