Jose Mourinho says Scott McTominay should be priority for Scotland boss Alex McLeish

Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Scott McTominay and advised Scotland manager Alex McLeish to select the up and-coming Manchester United midfielder before England swoop and pick him.

The 21-year-old has not looked back since his surprise United debut towards the end of last season, making 14 appearances in all competitions this term having proven his worth to a manager not widely known for giving youth a chance.

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Mourinho is surprised by the lack of appreciation for a player he believes deserves international recognition.

Eligible for England and Scotland, the United boss said he would be straight on the phone to the Lancastrian midfielder if he was McLeish.

“We had some players that missed but we had some players that played so, so well,” Mourinho told MUTV after Saturday’s 2-0 win at Huddersfield in the FA Cup fifth round.

“Honestly, I think Scott deserves more than what he is getting.

New Scotland manager Alex McLeish is determined to make up for the heartbreak of narrowly missing out on qualifying for Euro 2008 by leading his country to Euro 2020.

“I think maybe it’s because he’s this kind of kid profile: a normal haircut, no tattoos, no big cars, no big watches, humble kid, arrive in the club when he was nine or 10.

“Last season he was almost leaving the club to go somewhere, who knows where, who knows in which division he would be playing now.

“He has now played already, I don’t know, seven or eight 90 minutes – he’s not played five or 10 minutes – in every competition: Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Capital One Cup.

“I think the kid deserves a little bit more [recognition].

“And because it looks like England is missing him, if I was Alex McLeish the first thing I would do would be to [makes phone gesture] come to me.”