McTominay, having made his senior debut towards the end of last season, impressed during the club’s tour of the United States over the summer and has now been handed a regular place in the first team.
He made his first Champions League start last month, producing a composed display alongside Nemanja Matic during a 2-0 win over Benfica at Old Trafford.
And Mourinho, speaking to the Mirror, noted that he would continue to hand the 20-year-old opportunities.
“To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay. Mr Van Gaal had the start of Rashford, I am having it with Scott McTominay and, next year, there should be another.”
“I don’t want to be the one that breaks that [United’s youth record] and I think the next United manager – it doesn’t matter when he comes – should also try not to break it.”
For any of you that played Sunday league or for a school team, one inescapable truth emerged once you entered your teens: that the best player on the pitch was usually in central midfield.
There was always the lethal goalscorer. Plenty of those. But the shining jewell on the pitch lay in the middle, winning the ball off opponents, beating players, launching passes everywhere, carrying the ball forward. They were the heartbeat, the real talent.
And this still applies at the highest level. The nature of the competition in midfield is like no other, such is the variety and importance of the role. With this in mind, McTominay deserves immense praise for knocking on the door so comprehensively that Mourinho has now vowed to give him minutes under his watch.
But we should be mindful of the fact that McTominay’s rise will not be an explosive, headline-yielding one. It will take longer than Rashford’s almost immediate ascension to the top. He may have difficult patches on the way.
That said, under the close watch of Mourinho, you can be sure that McTominay’s progression in the first team and eventual passage to the starting XI would have been earned off the back of hard graft and dedication worthy of gracing the biggest of stages.