Belfast Telegraph

Nemanja Matic tips Scott McTominay to make impact for England

Nemanja Matic thinks Manchester United team-mate Scott McTominay can become "an England star" - a suggestion which may not be welcomed by the Scottish Football Association.

Matic has joined the 21-year-old midfielder's growing fan club having joined him on the field in his first Premier League start of the season against Bournemouth in midweek.

McTominay was born in Lancaster but qualifies for Scotland through his father, who spoke to interim manager Malky Mackay about a potential call-up to face Holland last month.

He has yet to make his allegiances clear, instead opting to focus on breaking in at Old Trafford, but Matic believes the sky is the limit.

"He has exactly what he needs to become a big player," Matic told MUTV.

"He's working a lot every day and is looking to the older players to take things from them and to learn and I'm sure that he will be an England star and a Manchester United star because I think he is born for this job.

"The manager is there to explain to someone like Scott what he needs to do and I'm really happy for him because he's a good guy and I'm sure in the future he will get more chances to play and show his qualities."

McTominay is likely to return to bench duty for Sunday's trip to West Brom but Matic has no doubt his growth will continue as long as he focuses on the job at hand.

The Serbia international has pledged to do whatever he can to make his young colleague's transition easier but does not see himself as a direct role model.

"When I was young I just tried to, let's say, copy the older players - how they work and how they were as professionals," he said.

"(But) we are all different, you cannot try to do what the other players do because one player has one quality and you might have another.

"I think the young players just need freedom, you don't need to put extra pressure on them because they feel the pressure when they're on the pitch playing for Manchester United.

"They have enough pressure, so you have to try to release them a little bit and then they can show all their quality."

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