Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Scott McTominay following the Manchester United midfielder’s impressive display against Barcelona on Wednesday night.
Untied fell to a 1-0 defeat to the La Liga giants at Old Trafford in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, but McTominay impressed for the hosts.
Speaking in the BT Sport studio after the game, it was put to Ferdinand by Gary Lineker that McTominay was the best player on the pitch.
Ferdinand agreed and went on to suggest McTominany is now is gradually become one of United’s big game players.
“I think he was very, very good today,” Ferdinand said. “I thought he was positive, he was reliable, he was aggressive without the ball.
“With his performances in big games – this game and at PSG – he’s proved to Solskajer he can be trusted. It’s vital for a young player.
“He grew into the game and I think he’s grown in stature. He was the catalyst for a lot of the good things that happened.
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“Young lads come into the team and it takes a performance or two to feel comfortable in their surroundings. I think the PSG game and this one will really do that and he’ll be respected even more by his teammates.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also impressed by McTominay’s display, crediting the 22-year-old with settling United down in possession.
“[McTominay was] fantastic. Every time he plays for us he’s improving,” said the Norwegian.
“He’s a great athlete, he can win all day long, he wins the challenges, he’s quick on his feet.
“And today on the ball as well – he was composed, brought the ball down a few times and he started settling us.”
Man Utd will be “satisfied” – Ferdinand
Barcelona till take a narrow lead back to the Nou Camp after United failed to recover from Luke Shaw’s early own goal.
However, the Red Devils managed to keep Ernesto Valverde’s side relatively quiet and will be quietly confident of finding a way back into the tie in Spain.
Ferdinand believes his former side will be happy after ensuring they are still within touching distance of Barcelona ahead of the second leg.
“Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] will be satisfied with today. They’re in it,” Ferdinand added.
“That’s what he will have said before the game – be within touching distance for the second leg and I think that’s what they’ve achieved today.”