Patrick McNair once again made a big impression on Manchester United supporters against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The steady performance of someone so inexperienced and youthful would not have escaped the notice of his manager who has continued to show great faith in the 19-year old this season.
The recently called-up Northern Irish youngster came into the squad due to a deluge of injuries but has taken his chance with both hands. Many supporters were originally surprised that McNair was given the nod over Tom Thorpe but the stats show the reds have won all three games McNair has started this season.
Whilst his more experienced team mates Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have looked uncomfortable with the ball at their feet in recent matches, McNair appeared to thrive on the occasion, looking confident bringing the ball out of the defence and drilling passes up to the attacking players.
He also continues to look incredibly assured all round and bar one communication mishap with Daley Blind in the first half, it was another string to the defender’s bow.
If Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are all fit and ready for the trip to Arsenal in two weeks McNair may find himself out of the side once again but van Gaal seems insistent he’ll play the most in-form players and the teenager has done nothing to suggest he should be dropped in weeks to come.
Even in tough circumstances against Manchester City a week ago, McNair didn’t look out his depth against players like Sergio Aguero and handled Romelu Lukaku with consummate ease on his first team debut against Everton back in December. Even if Jones, Smalling and co do return to the fold in a fortnight, nobody would complain if the 19-year old’s name appears on the team sheet at the Emirates.