Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that he is without 10 first-team players for Saturday’s game at home to West Ham.
The Red Devils have been hit with a number of injuries to start their season as the Dutch manager has won only one of his first five Premier League games in charge of the world football giants.
Defence is the biggest concern to van Gaal who will be without all four players to have played at centre-back this season – Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are all injured, whilst Tyler Blackett is suspended.
Van Gaal told the club’s official website:
“Smalling came out of yesterday’s training session because he had stiff legs.
“I won’t take risks with players – they have to be fit. Jonny Evans’ bone is bruised a lot and we have to wait and see how it goes. I have nine injuries now and one player suspended with Blackett. All three of my right-sided centre-halves are out, so I will have to go to the youth education [system] and pick players from there.”
Luke Shaw is set to make his debut at left-back and van Gaal’s comments suggest that Marcos Rojo is set to to start at centre-back.
Possible youngsters to play alongside him from the under-21 side are Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair.
Louis van Gaal said the young players are ready to play if called upon:
“There are vacancies. The younger players can have their chance.
“The young players are always ready. They are hungry to play the game. United’s youth education has a level that can provide that. There’s a big difference between youth games and the Premier League but in one game you can show [prove] yourself.”
The other five players ruled out for Manchester United this weekend are Michael Carrick, Maourane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, James Wilson and Ashley Young,