The Portuguese tactician dismissed criticism of his record with youth players, citing the Scottish midfielder as an example
Jose Mourinho believes he is responsible for Scott McTominay’s rise at Manchester United, claiming the midfielder is now the best player at Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old has become a regular at the Theatre of Dreams under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season and earned rave reviews in the recent victories against Mourinho’s Tottenham and Manchester United after returning from injury.
McTominay made his Red Devils debut in 2017 under Mourinho while the Portuguese coach was in charge of the club, with the Scotland international receiving a Manager’s Player of the Season award from his boss at the end of the 2017-18 season.
Speaking ahead of Spurs’ dead rubber Champions League match against Bayern at Aliianz Arena on Wednesday, Mourinho took offence when his record of bringing through youth players at various clubs was questioned by a journalist.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach cited McTominay’s importance to the Manchester United and the development of Raphael Varane as examples of his ability to develop talent.
“Yes it’s very important [to bring through youth], Scott McTominay is only the best player at Manchester United,” Mourinho said.
“Raphael Varane is one of the best players in the world, yes, it’s fair criticism.”
Mourinho was the manager at Chelsea when both Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah were sold after failing to impress.
The two attackers have since gone on to become two of the world’s best players at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively.
Spurs have won four of their five matches in all competitions since dismissing Pochettino and appointing Mourinho on a four-year contract.
The London club started their era under Mourinho with a 3-2 win over rivals West Ham before recovering from two goals down to defeat Olympiacos 4-2 in the Champions League.
Another 3-2 win in the league followed against Bournemouth before they suffering their first reverse under the former Chelsea boss in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United.
However, Spurs bounced back in the Premier League on Saturday, with a stunning 5-0 win over Burnley, as Harry Kane secured a brace and Son Heung-min scored a goal of the season contender.