Van Gaal’s youth policy paying dividends
A couple of days before the game against Everton, Louis Van Gaal revealed that 19-year-old centre back Paddy McNair will be making his second-straight start for the Red Devils. Although the Dutchman was renowned for giving youth a chance, the number of players who have made their debut for the club this season was something that nobody could have seen coming. While injuries have certainly played their part in some of them, the Dutchman’s bold decision making has certainly paid off.
Playing in only his second game, McNair was once solid in defence and repaid the faith shown in him by his manager. The Northern Irishman was the latest youngster to shine under Van Gaal. Tyler Blackett, who started the opening few games, came on in as a second half substitute following Luke Shaw’s injury. And James Wilson as well made his first appearance of the season. While the injuries have surely hindered the team’s progress, it has certainly accelerated the progress of the youngsters, especially in defence, who have played far more than they would have expected.