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Manchester United

Manchester United has a legitimate wildcard option that might help with their striker problems.

Erik ten Hag would be better off assigning Scotland’s top scorer, Scott McTominay, to a striker role if Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund are also unable to play in the Champions League match against Galatasaray.

Erik ten Hag pulled off a stunning selection surprise in his first Manchester United game in charge, and the Dutchman could have to repeat the feat if the Reds are to have any chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

United’s most recent 4-3 loss against FC Copenhagen dropped them to third place in their qualifying group with three points from four games. They have to win on Wednesday in order to keep their hopes of making it to the knockout stages when they travel to Turkey to play Galatasaray.

They also have to travel without Marcus Rashford, who is suspended following his red card against the Danes, and Rasmus Hojlund, who is questionable due to an injury. Despite missing Denmark’s international matches, the striker has scored five goals in four Champions League games this season. He will compete against to be fit the continental smackdown.

The only other natural senior striker available if he is down is Anthony Martial, who is currently out of favor and hasn’t played much this season. Few people are confident when they think of the Frenchman starting at the front of a crucial match.

Ten Hag might search elsewhere, just as he did on the first day of the last campaign when he used Christian Eriksen in place of Cristiano Ronaldo as a false nine against Brighton. The strategy failed as United lost, but Scott McTominay, who is currently with the Reds, may be a more obvious stand-in candidate.

With seven goals during Scotland’s victorious European Championship qualification campaign, the midfielder moved up to sixth place in the goalscoring lists, surpassing players like as Bruno Fernandes and Erling Haaland.

Only Harry Kane, Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, and Kylian Mbappe stole more than McTominay, who plays forward for his nation. Despite only starting six games, the Scot is, along with Fernandes, United’s leading league goalscorer this season with three.

Although he has spent the majority of his time at United playing as a defensive midfielder, the 26-year-old is inherently a more attack-minded player and made a few appearances up top during his development.

I was an attacking midfielder in my youth and enjoyed getting into the box. He stated early in the season, “I know I can improve my game and score more goals and assists, so I have to keep doing that.

When given the chance, McTominay has demonstrated his ability at the club level. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he scored twice while playing in an advanced role against Leeds United. Last season, he showed signs of his potential when used at a higher level.

With the addition of Sofyan Amrabat, United has strengthened their defensive midfield, and he is well suited to an advanced role due to his energy, physical qualities, and ability to make daring runs into favorable areas. Might McSauce turn into McStriker then? Maybe, really. McTominay could be a viable substitute since she appears to be more fit for the position than Eriksen was or is.

Given his physical attributes, he could be a focal point, and his performances in Scotland demonstrate his threat if he dropped deeply into a false nine role. Although a permanent shift in position is doubtful, United has struggled to score goals this season and may run out of forwards when they travel to Turkey the following week.

McTominay sounds like such a wild card that he might be the solution that works.

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