Three youngsters who Louis van Gaal must start against Middlesbrough

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United’s game against Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup is an opportunity for Louis van Gaal to rotate his squad. With that in mind, here are three players we think must start on Wednesday night.

Memphis Depay

Memphis has been out of the team for a while but it would be a big surprise if he isn’t brought back into the starting XI for the Middlesbrough game. It’s the perfect chance for him to find some confidence which he certainly needs.

Due to the type of player Memphis is, he needs confidence to perform. Without it, self doubt will creep into his game and that stifles him. We’ve seen how it can effect him already.

He’s a cracking talent but so far hasn’t lived up to expectations, especially when you compare the hot start Anthony Martial has made under even tougher circumstances. To help Memphis get back in the groove, van Gaal needs to start him against Middlesbrough.

Andreas Pereira

Andreas made a big statement on his full debut in the last round of the Capital One Cup with a dream goal from a free-kick. It was richly deserved for somebody who spends so long practicing his set pieces on the training ground and he’ll be itching to do the same thing again if given the chance against Middlesbrough.

Pereira is in the perfect place right with his career. He’s progressed through the U21s, began training with the first-team, made big strides internationally with Brazil and has now scored his first senior goal. Everything is going in the right direction for the 19-year-old and games like this expose him to first-team football, which is the experience he now needs to develop.

James Wilson

Wilson starting this game is probably the most important of the tree we’ve mentioned, simply because of how much he has been overlooked by van Gaal this season.

He’s only made one Premier League appearance and that was when he came on as a substitute against Arsenal when the game was already finished. Given that he hasn’t been sent out on loan, it’s massively confusing to see him regularly left out of the first-team matchday squad altogether and that can’t be good for his mental state of mind either.

It’s so important that Wilson gets game time whenever he can. Starting in the Capital One Cup might not be the Premier League or UEFA Champions League football he wants but at this point, he needs to take whatever he can get with opportunities being so limited.

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