Manchester United legend Gary Neville says he thinks Scott McTominay could be a solid partner to Harry Maguire in central defence, insisting he sees “similarities” between the Scot and the likes of West Ham’s Declan Rice and Manchester City’s John Stones.
United have conceded 30 goals in 23 Premier League games this season, 16 less than leaders Manchester City in the same amount of games.
The Red Devils are drawing up plans to try and sign a new centre-back in the summer with Sevilla’s Jules Kounde top of their list and RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate another linked to Old Trafford.
But club icon Neville believes “dominant” defensive midfielder McTominay could be a good option alongside Maguire at the back.
In an interview with YouTube duo Webby and O’Neill, Neville said: “I thought McTominay would be Maguire’s centre back partner.
“He’s quick, aggressive, he gets up the pitch, can pass well as a defender, dominant.
“I don’t see much difference between him and Stones, Rice, [Tottenham’s Eric] Dier, there’s a lot of similarities.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to push McTominay back, however, with the Scotland international having scored three goals in his last three matches for the club.
McTominay has scored 14 goals under the Norwegian and has seven so far this season.
His manager said this week: “To add goals from midfield is vital, last season our three forwards were brilliant and scored goals, 60 odd, and Bruno [Fernandes] came in and scored goals, but we needed more goals from midfield.
“Scott has the ability to go box-to-box, he used to be a striker, for us to move up the league and to be successful in the cups we need our forwards to keep on firing and I wouldn’t mind some midfielders adding a few.
“If Scott can get to double figures that would be a very good season for a so-called defensive midfielder.”
Neville is meanwhile confident that summer signing Donny van de Beek will eventually be a hit at United, despite the Dutchman having yet to fully settle into Solskjaer’s side.
“Van de Beek is a very good football player, at the moment he’s having a tough time and I feel sorry for the lad,” Neville added of the former Ajax central midfielder.
“Every time I see him on camera I want to hug him, I know I shouldn’t be hugging him because he’s £40m and we’re in coronavirus, but I think, ‘Oh God, Donny! Donny, come round for tea. Relax.’
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“He must be thinking, ‘what have I come here for?’. I think he’ll be a brilliant player for United because I think he’s a brilliant player, but I don’t think we’ve seen it yet.
“You’ve been brought in from Ajax for £40m and all of a sudden you’re on the bench. He’s like, ‘Hang on a minute, you’ve brought me in to be a star here and I’m not even playing.’
“I’ve not seen that happen before at Manchester United, they’ve bought a player for so much, so highly-rated and hes just been left completely on the bench. I think he’ll come good.”