Manchester United starlet Tyler Blackett has fired a warning to summer signing Marcos Rojo ahead of his Old Trafford debut this weekend that he will not give up his place in the first-team easily, and hopes to challenge the £16 million star for a starting spot in Louis van Gaal's side.
The 20-year-old defender has been a surprise starter in each of the Red Devils' first three Premier League games in 2014/15, profiting from the new manager's pledge to give youth a chance this season after impressing on the club's pre-season tour of North America.
Blackett's rise to prominence has been swift seeing as he spent the previous campaign on loan at Blackpool and Birmingham City in the Championship, but having had a taste of senior action at Manchester United is not planning on conceding his current role on the left side of a new look three-man defence, even if World Cup finalist Rojo is now available for selection.
The former Sporting Lisbon star has endured a frustrating first couple of weeks in England after a delay to his work permit application prevented the Argentina international from featuring in away draws with Sunderland or Burnley or the shock 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat against MK Dons.
However, the 24-year-old now has the green light to play in the forthcoming clash against newly promoted Queens Park Rangers, and could make his competitive debut alongside a number of other summer signings including Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, should he be selected by Van Gaal on Sunday.
Tyler Blackett quotes:
"He looks good," declared Blackett in an interview with Manchester United's official website. "Obviously, he is someone who plays in my position as well so he is somebody I can look up to and learn off, but hopefully challenge for a place in the team too.
"He'll get stuck in when the time is right and get a foot in there but he's got a good left foot on him so he'll be good for the team and add that balance that we need."
With regards to his own development the England U21 international reflected positively on his individual start to the new campaign, and revealed his hopes and aspirations for the remainder of the season.
"Hopefully, to get more games," he enthused. "I know I'm not going to play in every match but I'd like to think I will get more games and opportunities to do well and be around the first team.
"I'd like to be able to say next summer the team has performed well and I have played maybe 10-15 games. I want to establish myself at this level and prove to myself that I can play here."
Blackett is still expected to be replaced by Rojo in Manchester United's starting XI this weekend with fellow summer signing Shaw also ready to make his first competitive start in the left wing-back role.
The South American is also capable of operating in that position and will act as cover for the talented 19-year-old should he suffer a relapse of the thigh injury that has delayed the £27 million man's debut for his new club, following his £27 million move from Southampton during the summer.
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