The Manchester United personnel simply cannot stop singing the praises of Patrick McNair.
The 19-year-old centre-back made his first-team debut for the Red Devils against West Ham United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Injuries to Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, and suspension for Tyler Blackett saw the Northern Irish youngster shoved into action against the Hammers.
Although McNair failed to prevent the London club from scoring at Old Trafford, his overall performance was very encouraging as 10-man United edged to a 2-1 win to maintain their challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
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Following the match, United manager Louis van Gaal, striker Robin van Persie and defender Rafael da Silva praised McNair and predicted a bright future for the teenager (click here to read more), and now attacking midfielder Juan Mata has joined them in hailing the youngster.
‘Making a debut with Manchester United in Old Trafford being just 19 is amazing, and I am sure he will always remember this day’, the Spain international wrote on his blog on Monday.
‘It’s good for the young players to see that they can fit in the first team. It has always happened in this club and it’s a good tradition to keep. In my opinion, Paddy has a bright future ahead’.
United do have a tradition of giving academy products chances in the first team, and despite the arrivals of big-name attacking players Van Gaal has kept faith in the youngsters defensively.
The Dutchman has been criticised for not signing a world-class centre-back in the summer, but perhaps it was because he knew the quality of defenders in the youth team.