Van Gaal confirms Blind won’t play in defence and reveals injury concerns

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal has no intention of using Daley Blind in a defensive role for the simple fact he doesn’t want too many left-footed players in the same back four.

With Marcos Rojo set to start at centre-back and Luke Shaw ready to make his full Manchester United debut, the inclusion of Blind at centre-back would mean three out of United’s four defenders were left-footed and Van Gaal doesn’t want that sort of imbalance in the side.

“I don’t like having too many left-sided defenders or left-footed players in defence,” he told MUTV.

“I think always of balance so [instead] I have to pick up a right-sided central defender from the youth education.

“Normally, I am always doing things like that. I have already said that we have a lot of vacancies when you buy only six players and let 14 players go.”

It’s good to hear Blind will not be forced into defence because his powerful presence in front of the back four has helped bring some much needed solidarity to United’s midfield.

Instead, Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair have been called into the first-team squad and one is likely to start against West Ham tomorrow but Van Gaal admits he is worried about United’s current injury plight, thanks in no small part to how injury prone Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are.

He added: “The amount of injuries is worrying me and they are not coming back.

“Smalling is already, for the third time, injured. Evans also. Jones had one injury in the national team, which was unfortunate.

“I am a coach who has a lot of experience and I believe I was never in this situation before so it is surprising me. I am evaluating myself and my staff and also the players and what is wrong.

“But I cannot imagine what we are doing is at another level to [what I did at] my former clubs. So I have already adapted to a certain level that I think we can play during a game but I cannot train at a lower level.”

 

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