Scott McTominay is now a fully fledged member of Manchester United's senior squad after a number of impressive displays.
That is according to Jose Mourinho, who told the Manchester Evening News that the young midfielder was now part of the first team picture at Old Trafford.
McTominay impressed in United's 1-0 victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday - a display which added to his growing collection of mature performances in the heart of midfield.
It was yet more evidence, Mourinho stated, that the 21-year-old was now ready to make the step up from Under-23 level on a more consistent basis.
He said: “I didn’t realise that he was young Scott. For me he is not young Scott anymore - he is just Scott, a player from the first team squad.
“Scott played this season 90 minutes in three different competitions. He played against Swansea in the cup, tonight (against Bournemouth) and Benfica and for the three times he played 90 minutes - not 87, 89 or 85. Why? Because in every match he was playing really, really well.”
Scott Mctominay appreciation tweet.— kenna (@kennagq) December 14, 2017
Felt he was pretty good tonight. Couldn't tell between him and matic
Could also be because my illegal stream was buffering
McTominay has featured six times for the senior side so far this term, and featured alongside Nemanja Matic in central midfield as the Red Devils overcame a resilient Cherries outfit.
His inclusion in the starting lineup was Mourinho's way of showing that he is prepared to offer United's talented crop of academy players the opportunity to play for the first team after he received criticism for not doing so last season.
Scott McTominay has great strength at such a young age. Very composed.— Pumpkin King 🎃 (@BilboRocky) December 13, 2017
The Portuguese manager, though, hinted that he would be more than willing to do so in the foreseeable future with the likes McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Andre Gomes all breaking through the junior ranks in the past two seasons.
Mourinho added: “I feel it like a way to keep a certain identity of the club. To keep that identity means, basically, we should bring a new player from the academy every season.
“To follow a certain pathway is important. I am doing it with McTominay.”