News From Manchester: Erik ten Hag might have found his own Park Ji-Sung at Manchester United – Richard Fay

It's easy to be doom and gloom after a disappointing campaign and dismiss the talents of every player on the team. However, sometimes you need to take a step back and realise what solid foundations United still have in place.

Ten Hag's arrival should bring with it the fresh energy and ideas to inspire a disenchanted side, and if he can sort the attitude issues out at Old Trafford, then the task at hand is not nearly as enormous as some are suggesting. Much of the talk is about the players Ten Hag could bring to the club, but just as important will be those already at his disposal who will form the core of his squad next season.

A key difference will be making better use of the current incumbents. United have been guilty of overplaying key players in the past and being so heavily reliant on them that they actually suffer, while other players have been overlooked because they did not have the same trust with the manager.

One player who has suffered from being overplayed is Scott McTominay. The 25-year-old has always been a divisive figure among fans, with his passionate approach often used against him when the team isn't delivering on the pitch.

When discussing McTominay it is easy to list what he can't do. He doesn't have a set position, isn't a strong passer of the ball, and lacks the energy to play at full throttle for an entire match. Yet, he does have a number of redeeming qualities too.

He's a confident dribbler of the ball, he draws a lot of fouls, he is good at winning back possession, he is versatile, and he cares as much as anyone else in the United squad.

You put him on the field and he delivers,” incoming Ten Hag assistant Steve McClaren told talkSPORT in January. “Hes a Manchester United player, seven or eight out of 10 every week. Thats what makes a Manchester United player.

He breaks up play, hes box-to-box, hes got energy, attitude, can deal with the ball, gets into the box and can score goals; hes doing very well.

McTominay is an effective squad player in the mould of Nicky Butt, Park Ji-Sung and Darren Fletcher before him, but has been exposed by the club's inability to build a midfield ahead of him. Next season, Ten Hag needs to put an end to the restrictive Fred and McTominay axis, but just because they won't be starting together, it does not mean they have no further use to the club.

In an ideal world, the Scotland international would come off the bench to influence the game like Nemanja Matic does currently, and could be used in big matches to help pack out the midfield against sides who control possession and need to be pressed into making unforced errors.

Just as Sir Alex Ferguson would turn to his unsung heroes in the biggest matches of the season, Ten Hag could well utilise McTominay as his own big-game player and restore his reputation.

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