Young was brought on early in the match to replace Luke Shaw in a position he’d become familiar with during pre-season and the early matches of the league campaign. But due to injury and a lack of game time, Young wasn’t able to complete the full game and the substitute was himself replaced towards the end of the match by vice-captain Darren Fletcher.
“Shaw has to play. Then he is coming back from the international break with the English national team and he is not fit enough. We make him fit,” said Van Gaal.
“Then he is injured with another injury. Ankle. You have seen that. Then I have to give Young a game, but Young is not fit enough to play 90 minutes.”
It’s yet another indictment of Manchester United’s current injury crisis that such a situation should occur but the 29-year old performed well during his time on the pitch. The former Aston Villa player was one of several who thrived in the new system during pre-season, regularly contributing both goals and assists but like many others failed to take that form into the new league season.
Young started the first three games of the season but the victory on Saturday was just his second appearance since August and shows just how little the injuries are easing up that he should have to play the left wing-back role.
The defensive replacements performed admirably against Arsenal on Saturday but given the line-up Louis van Gaal had to put out the Dutchman will hope he has the likes of Rafael, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Shaw himself fit and ready going into the busy Christmas period.