Rio Ferdinand believes Scott McTominay could consider his future at Manchester United as he continues to shine off the bench.
McTominay has netted eight goals in all competitions this season and is the club’s second highest scorer behind Rasmus Hojlund on 11.
Despite this, the Scotland international has made just 17 starts during the campaign, with his last two goals coming off the bench with 17 minutes left on the clock.
He was linked with an exit last summer and when speaking exclusively to talkSPORT, Ferdinand insisted that McTominay will have to make a decision at the end of the season on whether to stay put or leave.
Ferdinand said: “I don’t think anyone has scored as many last-minute goals or late goals as him, as winners. He’s important to the squad you can see it, it’s there for all to see in black and white.
“I just think he’s got a big decision to make at the end of the season, there were rumours he was leaving in the summer, I think West Ham or someone were interested in taking him when Declan Rice left and you can see that.
“I think it’s up to him because he has the decision to make, does he want to stay at Man United and be somebody that can come on and impact games at times?
“He’s going to get a run of games here and there because of injuries and fatigue of players, if the best players in the team are fit he may not start all the time.
“Or does he want to go elsewhere and be a main, regular player in that team, a mainstay in a team that have probably got less aspirations than Man United, and obviously the glamour and the glitz that comes with Man United and hopefully building towards success.
“That’s the decision I think he’s got to make and it’s down to him. As I said, does he want to play more football and be a regular starter, or does he want to stay at Man United and do what he’s doing?
“If he was going to have the feelings that he’s having now, I don’t think it’s a decision, I think he stays because he’s scoring goals, impacting games, you still feel a big part of it.”
Amid the stunning rise of teenager and fellow midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, McTominay may certainly be in the search for more game time, whether that’s at United or away from Old Trafford.
However Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles at the club, believes that impact players off the bench still have a key role to play en route to success.
He added: “There is a role for somebody like that. There’s no way that Man United in my time, as successful as we were, without players that knew that they weren’t going to start every game when everyone was fit.
“Like Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Park Ji-sung, John O’Shea, sometimes Darren Fletcher, a couple of years he was the first name [on the team sheet] but some years he was just getting in.
“Without those guys, I’m telling you, we do not win as much as we did or as consistently as we did because you need those guys. And who can come in, like Scott McTominay, and be an eight out of ten, or seven-and-a-half out of ten? It’s tough to do that.”