With Blind injured and Michael Carrick‘s fitness in question, now may be the time where Ben Pearson is given his first chance under Van Gaal this season.
Pearson, 19, who was previously named Jimmy Murphy Academy Player of the Year, has consistently been one of United’s most promising young players when fit.
A defensive minded midfielder, Pearson’s style of play would certainly fit the role which Blind is leaving behind through injury and if you haven’t seen Pearson play, an article from The Peoples Person back in October outlined what type of player he is:
“Pearson is a passionate player known for his tough tackling, ferocious work rate and also has the ability to pick out a pass.
“He brings a calmness to United’s play in the Under-21s, keeping the ball moving smoothly but is also able to break up oppositions play and drive the team forward.”
Pearson is only 19 but so were Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett. Both of those two exceeded expectations but Pearson is somebody who carries expectation because he is, in general, extremely consistent and he is hoping for a chance under Van Gaal.
“The manager has played a few youngsters already,” Pearson said.
“Tyler has been playing regularly and Reece James has played.
“A few of the lads were involved against MK Dons and, hopefully, all of us can come through.
“The manager has done it previously at Ajax and Barcelona and I hope he can do it here.
“There are a few young lads pushing for first-team places. It is all about getting an opportunity.
“There are always lads going up and training with the first team. You’ve just got to impress in those training sessions.
“I have done it a few times and it’s good but a lot faster and there is a lot more pressure. It’s great playing with players you’ve watched as a kid and learning off them.”
The likes of McNair and Blackett are both examples of academy graduates who have taken their opportunity with both hands. Who is to say Pearson couldn’t do the same if given his chance against Arsenal?