Manchester United shot-stopper David De Gea believes youngster Patrick ‘Paddy’ McNair has the qualities to go on and become one of the best defenders in the world.
The 19-year-old centre-back joined the Red Devils in the summer of 2011, initially impressing scouts in a midfield role back in his native Northern Ireland.
Relatively unknown outside of Manchester, the young defender has been thrust into the Louis Van Gaal’s XI during the past two games as the injury crisis at Old Trafford lingers.
In his second game at Old Trafford against Everton, McNair was tasked with stopping Belgian international Romelu Lukaku in which he succeeded, putting in a mature performance beyond his years.
|Team||Pos||Error Lead To Shot||Interception Won||Effective Clearance||Accurate Pass||Pass completion||Apps||Mins|
|Patrick McNair||Man Utd||DF||0||3||5||36||92%||1||90|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the Northern Ireland U21 international was solid throughout, making three interceptions and five effective clearances.
In possession, he brought the ball out of defence with ease and successfully completed 36 passes with an impressive success rate of 92%.
Whilst it’s anybody’s guess how far McNair can go in his career, shot-stopper David De Gea didn’t hold back in his praise as he believes his young teammate has what it takes to go on and become one of the best.
“Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair are so young but they are playing so well at Old Trafford and that is amazing. Paddy has been brilliant. He keeps calm all the time and he is really good with the ball and that is important for us. He is strong and in the future he is going to be one of the best.” He said, quoted by the Guardian.
McNair is likely to be in and out of Van Gaal’s XI as United’s injuries begin to clear up, but the valuable match experience he’s receiving now will go a long way in his future progression.