McTominay played the full match in midfield on Tuesday night alongside Nemanja Matic. It was his fourth start for the club, and his eighth appearance in total having made his Man United debut last season against Arsenal away from home.
Despite Ander Herrera being available, Mourinho elected to go with McTominay, a player who was not expected to break through and become a first team squad player at this stage.
“He is ready,” Mourinho explained ahead of the game. “He played in Champions League and League Cup against Swansea which is like a Premier League match.”
“He’s been training with us all season. He’s been on the bench six, seven, eight, nine matches in a row getting experience and knowledge of the game. I think he’s ready.”
It’s good to hear from Mourinho. McTominay is clearly a player he admires. The Anglo-Scot has slipped under the radar, somewhat. He’s now played eight times for United and looked assured and composed on every occasion.
The 21-ear-old had growth issues for a couple of years and virtually missed all his playing time in under-18s football, but excelled for the under-23s and has come straight into the first team. A solid player, rather than a potential superstar, McTominay fits the bill of the kind of youth player that often makes it at Old Trafford.