The Portuguese boss, sacked by Manchester United in December, promoted McTominay to the first team and deeply admired the player’s attitude, even presenting the Scot with a personal award at the club’s end-of-season ceremony last year.
His faith in the youngster – who many supporters considered not good enough for this club – was vindicated by a colossal performance against Barcelona during which he controlled the tempo in midfield, surpassing the likes of Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in terms of overall influence.
Speaking soon after the game, the 56-year-old gave McTominay one of the highest praises available in the Mourinho textbook by branding him as a ‘mad dog’.
Mourinho’s management of the United dressing room was awful, and fans were right to deride him for it, but he was bang on about McTominay. United fans were wrong to turn on him as they did.
In a word, his performance against the La Liga leaders had personality.
For a player whose level of technical ability, according to some, belongs in the Championship, his application, his sheer ferocity, was so pronounced that even the seasoned elite of Barcelona could not handle the intensity McTominay brought to the game.
He is, without doubt, a player with a future at this club.