Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has accused his former club of stifling the answer to their midfield conundrum.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have made a mixed start to the new season and appear to have quickly become overly reliant on their returning talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old has already dug United out of several difficult situations with five goals in six appearances, including a dramatic late winner against Villarreal which belatedly kick-started their Champions League campaign.

Solskjaer, however, has struggled to get the balance of his team right, particularly in midfield where he has relied heavily on Scott McTominay and the much maligned Fred who was criticised again following last week’s draw against Everton.

Robson believes United are overly obsessed with pigeonholing their midfielders as either defensive or attacking players and fears Scotland international McTominay has been particularly hampered.

He told the BBC: ‘The coaches either want an attacking midfielder or a sitting midfielder but I still think there are people out there who can do box to box.

‘They’ve just got to work a little bit harder and get their finishing right. I think we have one at this club in Scott McTominay, I don’t think he just has to be a sitting midfield player and just class as a defensive player.

‘He’s scored seven goals last year and I think where maybe Scott can improve as a player is trying to get between 10 and 15 goals every season.

‘If you’re a midfield player and stay away from injury then you can achieve that. I think Scott’s got that in his locker.’

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