Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag must drop his saviour vs Chelsea to impress Sir Jim Ratcliffe | Football | Sport

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has repeated his intention to be ruthless as he sweeps change through Manchester United after purchasing a 27.7 per cent stake. Erik ten Hag must follow his lead and start making some big decisions if he wants to remain manager in Ratcliffe’s first full season as the club’s football kingpin.

Scott McTominay has established himself as one of the most effective impact substitutes in the Premier League this season.

The 27-year-old’s four-goal tally from the bench is higher than any other player’s. He has scored nine goals in all competitions, many of which have rescued Ten Hag from further disappointment.

United suffered from a severe lack of control in Saturday’s dismal 1-1 draw against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.

Unfortunately, while Carrington academy graduates will always deservedly be heralded, McTominay continues to contribute to that problem.

The Scotland international is at his most dangerous when he arrives in the box late and offers a target for crosses to either post.

But he has started 22 times for United this season, and during that period, it has become abundantly clear that Ten Hag needs more technical quality than what McTominay supplies.

McTominay is worth keeping this summer. It would be difficult for United to identify a feasible squad option that can offer what he can from the bench at the business end of matches.

But the stalemate at Brentford—where Ten Hag’s side were fortunate to avoid a heavy defeat—has them on the brink of Champions League qualification, even via the top five, drifting out of reach.

Ten Hag must use that performance, one of the worst of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, as the turning point. McTominay can’t start against Chelsea on Thursday. His spot must go to Mason Mount, fittingly.

United’s sudden yet characteristic collapse robbed Mount of a memorable moment on his return to west London. But his well-taken maiden goal for the club in the 96th minute could mark his arrival.

The 25-year-old has endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford after leaving Chelsea in a £60million deal last summer. Injuries have limited him to just 14 appearances and seven starts.

But now he’s back to full fitness, Ten Hag has to utilise his marquee summer signing during the run-in. What better place to start than at his old stomping ground?

Kobbie Mainoo has proven that he can operate as the sole defensive midfielder alongside two more advanced players. Ten Hag is nearing a make-or-break period where he has to go all-in for results.

If it fails, it fails. Casemiro is also back from injury. But among his current personnel, Mainoo, Mount, and Fernandes carry the potential and quality to get United back in the fight.

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