Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to build Man Utd side around one player

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could build his side around Scott McTominay as the Scot has earned the right to become a ‘mainstay’ in the starting XI.

The 24-year-old captained United for the first time in the Red Devils’ 1-0 win against Watford in the FA Cup third round on Saturday night.

It was McTominay that scored the only goal of the game in the early stages of the first half when he headed home Alex Telles’ whipped corner.

It was McTominay’s fourth goal of the campaign and the Scotland international is having his most impressive season at the Theatre of Dreams to date, making himself a regular under Solskjaer in a 4-2-3-1 system.

‘You can see in the way he conducts himself but more importantly the way he plays out on the pitch he’s wholehearted. He covers the ground well, he takes responsibility in situations and you need all that as a captain,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘You need to be somebody who people can look at and he seems to have those sort of traits.

‘He has the credentials to be a mainstay in this team and be an important member of this team for years and years to come because of the way he applies himself.

‘It’s not just about footballing ability sometimes, there’s more to it than that, your mental capacity to take things on board but also the ability to accept responsibility and be the man that people look to for inspiration.

‘He’s almost certainly now become one of the main players in that midfield area and he’s someone I think Ole could build around.

‘He’s not the one who you’d say is the most imaginative or the person you’d say has got the most skills, but there’s other things that he brings to the game that other players don’t bring, that intensity, that work rate, the effort, and importantly the responsibility he takes on.’

United travel to Burnley in midweek, where they can go top of the Premier League with anything but a defeat at Turf Moor.

That would give Solskjaer’s side confidence before they travel to Anfield to face champions Liverpool on Sunday.

United are sweating on the fitness of trio Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw before the top-of-the-table clash as all three players missed the win against the Hornets.

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