Van Gaal to dip into the academy with numerous first choice defenders ruled out.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is set to plunge into the club’s academy for options at the back, report the Daily Star, with the latest crisis facing United being one of defensive options, with numerous players injured and Tyler Blackett suspended for the weekend’s crunch clash against West Ham United.
Van Gaal has already taken Blackett out of the reserves of young talent at the squad this season but, after he was sent off in conceding a penalty during the Red Devils’ 5-3 defeat at Leicester last weekend, the manager has indicated that he is once again prepared to give youth a chance:
“I have nine injuries now and one player suspended with Blackett.”
“All three of my right-sided centre-halves are out, so I will have to go to the youth education [system] and pick players from there. There are vacancies. The younger players can have their chance.”
It is no clear who van Gaal could turn to in the youth system, however, with the club’s most senior young central defender, Michael Keane, having joined Burnley on a loan deal on transfer deadline day.
This could mean that van Gaal has to delve even deeper, into the club’s Under 21 squad, for options to play at centre back against Sam Allardyce’s in-form Hammers, with Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair potential options – the former having spent a short period on loan at Birmingham City last season and the latter being a Northern Irish youth international, but neither are likely to be seen as ideal by United fans.