Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously admitted he has an idea about how he’d like the Manchester United squad to look like by the end of August, but as he knows, things don’t always go to plan.
After a disappointing end to the season United are pushing ahead with their planned squad overhaul this summer, with the first task to go ‘all out’ and recruit a defensive partner for captain Harry Maguire.
Which position should be next on their list is sure to cause some heated debate. For some supporters a new right-back should be the priority, others would love to see an extra body in attack, while some want to see a specialist defensive midfielder added to the ranks. They all have their merits.
Yet before Solskjaer can decide which positions need prioritising over others this summer he might also need some clarity on what he is going to do with a number of squad players.
A reignited interest in Kieran Trippier casts doubt over the futures of Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams, while a potential deal for Jadon Sancho could limit Amad’s pathway into the United first team.
Strength in numbers is obviously a luxury to possess, with those two aforementioned scenarios probably a blessing rather than a curse, but United know that any new additions must also be off-set by a number of departures in the next few months.
Another player who could affect such plans is Scott McTominay, with the midfielder’s best position not yet known.
While few would dispute the quality, energy and commitment that he brings to the line-up, there remains a debate regarding where he fits into the team best.
Of course, his versatility is another string to his bow, but as Solskjaer evaluates his squad at the end of the season he needs to have a firmer idea of how he intends to utilise the Scotland international going forward.
What do you see McTominay’s best position as? Let us know in the comments below.
McTominay heads into the European Championship off the back of an impressive personal season which saw him strike seven times in 49 appearances for United. That tally saw him finish the season as the fifth-highest scorer in the United side across all competitions, yet this summer it could be in a defensive role where he shines.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke has been keen to utilise McTominay in an unorthodox centre-back role for the national side, something which could well be on the cards again in their upcoming international matches, further complicating his long-term role.
“It’s a different role I’m enjoying,” the United midfielder said of his responsibility as part of a back three last November, having previously been trialled there by Jose Mourinho in his final season at Old Trafford.
His successor does’t necessarily agree.
“We will have to unleash him and release him forward because he is a goal threat in the box and he’s got a good strike in him,” Solskjaer claimed after McTominay scored his third goal in as many games to seal victory over West Ham in the FA Cup in February.
As a former goalscorer himself you can understand why Solskjaer is so keen to harness even more attacking power from his mobile midfielder, but with similar question marks surrounding the roles of Fred and Donny van de Beek it is crucial to find clarity sooner rather than later.
Given his hard work and commitment there are no doubts whatsoever about McTominay’s suitability to this United side under Solskjaer, yet there still remains a question mark about the position he specialises in.
The harsh reality is that he might never be the long-term defensive midfielder that the team needs. If that’s the case then a new one might be slowly creeping up their list of transfer priorities.