ALEX McLeish has warned Scotland supporters not to expect Scott McTominay to perform like George Best during their forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

However, McLeish has predicted that Manchester United midfielder McTominay has the potential to become a “great player” for his country in the future.

The national manager has been heartened to see the 22-year-old getting regular game time at Old Trafford once again this year under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He was outstanding against Paris Saint-Germain in France earlier this month as United, trailing 2-0 following the first leg, recorded a 3-1 triumph to book a Champions League quarter-final spot.

McTominay, who qualifies to play for this country because his father hails from Helensburgh, is a strong contender to start against Kazakhstan in Astana on Thursday as a result.

McLeish pulled off a major coup when he persuaded the Lancashire-born player, who had attracted the attention of his England counterpart Gareth Southgate, to commit his international future to Scotland last year.

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However, he has urged members of the Tartan Army to be realistic about what the five-times capped internationalist can do in their Group I matches.

“The McTominay games over the last few weeks have boosted us,” he said before leaving Glasgow for Astana last night. “What he has done has been fantastic.

“I don’t know what Ole’s thoughts are, but he brought him in and playing against Liverpool he was excellent. You can see there is massive improvement.

“The big guy is learning all the time and it was great to see him coming through in the PSG game as he did against (Marco) Veratti.

“He’s a world-class player and to mess him about and get the wee guy rattled was the performance of a veteran.

“I knew when I made that journey to secure him that he didn’t have all the answers. He is still a kid growing and learning, no question.

“But he has a terrific frame, good speed, great strength. He is really on a fast track and learning about how to cope at the top level.

“He ragdolls them all in training. He’s such a strong, big pillar. If he can harness all that as well then we’ve got some big players coming through in the team. But they need to be at their maximum quality.

“I think (Nemanja) Matic has been a big influence on him as well, playing in a similar position. He has already got the Man United DNA, as wee Ole keeps saying, and we believe he will be a great player for Scotland.

“That performance against PSG suggests that swagger might be there. I know he was given a specific job and he did that job to the nth degree. That kind of performance should give him added swagger and belief in himself.”

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McLeish added: “It’s really important to mention that (not to expect too much of him). When Darren Fletcher came into the Scotland team everyone was asking ‘why is he not playing like George Best?’ That was just because he played for Man United.

“There is loads the big guy can improve on. He is still a young guy learning the game and he’ll be looking at videos of the heroes of the past, like (Paul) Scholes.

“He can certainly ping the ball. But can he caress it the same as a Scholes or a (Roy) Keane when the time is needed for that? These are the things he’ll improve on.

“We have to remember that there are certain types of players and they need to be cogs fitting into the wheel. But we believe Scott has a good future for club and country.”

McLeish handed McTominay, who came on in United's disappointing FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Wolves at Molineux on Saturday night, his Scotland debut against Costa Rica last March and has since played him in games against Peru, Albania and Israel.

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The 60-year-old confessed that he had been concerned by his lack of game time at United, where he has French superstar Paul Pogba ahead of him in the pecking order, this season and had urged him to go out on loan.

He said: “I spoke to his agent at Christmas and said: ‘Look we need to get Scott out (on loan). We want him to be a part of our squad for years to come. Playing senior football is the key to your learning.

“He is extremely humble. I sent a text to him a few weeks ago saying when he played the first game that that was the way to learn to play football, being in that Man. United team.

“I told him he played a really good game and he takes everything on board. He is a guy who wants to improve greatly and to be a fixture in this Man United team.”