Tyler Blackett and Michael Keane singled out for praise by Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal says that he has been impressed by the displays of Tyler Blackett and Michael Keane on the Red Devils pre-season tour

New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has already been impressed by Michael Keane and Tyler Blackett during his time at Old Trafford.

The duo of youth-defenders have been part of the squad that travelled to the USA for a pre-season tour and have wasted no time making an impression on the new boss.

Van Gaal did confirm that the team would be looking at new defenders during the window, but the signs are that he has a lot of faith in Keane and Blackett to do a job in the upcoming season if required.

“We are looking for defenders,” he revealed. “Defenders have gone and we have to replace them."

“But I like Tyler Blackett and Michael Keane.”

Keane has been linked with a loan move to a host of Championship clubs so far this summer, but that move may be put on hold now he appears to have first-team commitments at United.

The powerful centre-back spent last season temporarily away from Old Trafford at Derby County and Blackburn Rovers and he impressed hugely in England’s second tier.

Similarly, Blackett also was out gaining first-team exposure in the Football League last year. The 20-year-old was part of the Birmingham City side who avoided relegation on the last day of the season and appears to be a stronger player for the experience.

Whether the pair can force their way into the starting line-up at United this year remains to be seen, but they must be encouraged by the new bosses words. They must also be positive about the fact they have featured on the tour - with both playing a part in United's 3-2 win against Roma.

United have been linked with Mats Hummels in recent times and his signing would surely knock Blackett and Keane down the pecking order slightly, but they have done themselves no harm with their showing over the past week.

The Red Devils take on Real Madrid on Saturday evening – the last game in their tour of the States – where the England youth internationals will be hoping to feature again.

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