Following the departure of Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the summer, United have struggled to put together a formidable defence – or any defence at all really.
Throughout this season, the defence has been plagued with injury which has not helped the situation. But, despite this difficult time for Louis van Gaal and his squad, one young defender has shown true promise – Paddy McNair.
Before the start of the season, McNair was not a big name, but he is creating a buzz in football.
He joined Manchester United in 2011 from Ballyclare Colts, but did not make his senior debut until this year after impressing for the youth side. Manchester United have won every game McNair has started this season, and he is fast becoming a fan favourite.
Louis van Gaal has been praised for incorporating youth as well as experience in his squads, and McNair has been one of the best youth players thus far.
He may have seemed like a last resort, due to the lack of options at the back, but he has proven he can be vital to United’s mission to break the top four – especially when you measure his contribution against the likes of Chris ‘stupid’ Smalling.
McNair’s outstanding form for United at club level has even resulted in an international call-up for Northern Ireland, featuring in the Northern Irish squad for a Euro 2016 qualifier against Romania.
The young player has also been listed in the Telegraph’s Top 20 Premier League defenders for November, joining the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Phil Jagielka and Cesar Azpilicueta. Not bad for a kid who has played a handful of games.
Paddy McNair is finding wonderful form at the mere age of nineteen years old. As he progresses, and the more he plays, he is sure to become a constant in the Manchester United team – not that it would be too hard at the minute!
Manchester United fans. How impressed are you with McNair and his early season form? Can a bit more experience make him into one of the best defenders around? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.