Louis van Gaal has praised Manchester United’s youngsters and feels they deserve praise despite the 3-2 loss to Wolfsburg on Tuesday night.
Guillermo Varela made his first start for Man United following his debut against West Ham at the weekend and was not effected by the pressure of playing in such an important game, while Nick Powell made his first appearance in ten months.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson stepped up after Matteo Darmain picked up a hamstring injury and may feature against Bournemouth after the Dutch manager confirmed the Italian defender is an injury doubt for the game.
Following their admirable performances, van Gaal praised them individually.
He said: “Now because Manchester United has lost nobody wants to say that, but I have to say that Varela played a very good match and also when Cameron came on he played very well, so you can also say that it is very good that the youngsters have shown quality on this podium.
“I haven’t thought about this kind of thing yet because now we are out of the Champions League and we have to analyse this game, and how it happened, and also that we are not lucky in the Champions League.”
If we’re looking for silver linings, then the positives certainly are with how the youngsters acquitted themselves, especially Varela who was really assured at right-back in what was the biggest game of his career to date.
There’s no way that any of those players would have got a chance if we weren’t ravaged by injuries but at a time where everything seems to be going wrong for United on the pitch, at least the progression of youth is something we can be happy about.