Patrick McNair made a shock debut for Manchester United on Saturday when he started the Premier League clash against West Ham United.
Injuries to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, and suspension for Tyler Blackett meant that McNair, who started his career as a midfielder, was called to play in central defence.
Before the match, United manager Louis van Gaal admitted that the 19-year-old’s debut was a ‘coincidence’ (click here to read more), but what did he made of the Northern Irishman’s performance against West Ham?
Van Gaal's praise for Paddy McNair: "He played very well. His goal-saving header in the second half was fantastic." pic.twitter.com/p3bEOZWqsb— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 27, 2014
McNair did indeed have a good debut and did his job quite well in central defence, as shown by the stats below:
|Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Error Lead To Goal||Error Lead To Shot||Interception||Total Clearance||Duel Won||Duel Lost||Apps||Mins|
Despite not scoring, it was the teenager who proved to be crucial in United’s 2-1 home win with a second-half headed clearance.
Whether McNair retains his place in United’s starting line-up against Everton at Old Trafford next Sunday remains to be seen, but it would be unfair to the youngster to leave him out of the team altogether.