In many ways, Scott McTominay is living the dream.
A 21-year-old midfielder cracking into the first-team of one of the biggest clubs in the world would usually be a cause for celebration.
But it’s difficult to shake the feeling something more sinister is at work.
And if so, does anyone else feel sorry for him?
All is not well between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba.
The Sun are reporting that the rift between Man United’s manager and the club’s record signing has reached a peak with the former literally telling the latter who is boss.
Then there are the widespread rumours that Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, has been contacting several top European clubs about the possibility of his client swapping Old Trafford for another esteemed footballing home this summer.
Even if you were to judge the situation from Mourinho’s team selections and interactions with Pogba at pitchside alone, you would say the relationship between the two is fractured at best.
United fans have been left dumbfounded by the omission of Pogba from the starting line-up in recent weeks.
Which brings us on to McTominay.
Six months ago, hardly anybody knew who the young midfielder was but now he’s seemingly established himself as a regular starter in the third-most expensive squad ever assembled in football history.
McTominay deserves credit for the way he’s played when tasked with the responsibility of dictating games at the very highest level.
His performance against Sevilla was professional, error-free, solid.
But it wasn’t particularly inspiring.
For all the tidiness and composure beyond his years, it’s difficult to justify his place in the starting line-up over Pogba.
Which leads us to believe Mourinho is using McTominay as a pawn in his self-serving game.
Perhaps it’s McTominay’s uncomplicated style that makes him the perfect weapon with which to dent Pogba’s ego?
Following the Huddersfield game, Mourinho made a point of describing McTominay as having ‘a normal haircut, no tattoos, no big cars, no big watches’.
Surely a not-so-subtle dig at Pogba’s more marketable persona?
It seems plausible then, that the main attribute that has led McTominay to become a Man United first-team regular, is that he’s the anti-Pogba.
Is it not unfair for Mourinho to manipulate a young player’s career for his own gain?
Thankfully, McTominay has held his own but it’s still not out of the question that his progression could be stunted by being thrust into the mix too early with the expectation of performing at the level of a £89m player.
We could be entirely wrong of course.
Perhaps Mourinho genuinely believes McTominay is better equipped to play in United’s midfield currently and reports of a rift with Pogba have been exaggerated.
It all depends on whether you believe Mourinho is the kind of person who would put himself above the good of the club?
If only there was some past evidence to help us make such a decision…