Louis van Gaal could be forced into playing a player he does not rate, as Manchester United face an injury crisis that will see him left with only four fit defenders and he will have to include Luke Shaw, reports the Daily Star.
Former Old Trafford coach Rene Meulensteen claimed on Monday that he believed it was clear that Van Gaal did not rate the 19-year-old purchased from Southampton in the summer.
£27million is a lot of money to pay for a teenager and it looks even pricier when considering that the manager of the team appears reluctant to using him, especially when he is also earning a reported £130,000-a-week.
Another summer signing, Marcos Rojo, has been preferred to the England international in the left-back position by Van Gaal so far and, despite injury ruling him out at the start of the season, has yet to make a competitive appearance for his new side.
However, the Dutchman may now have no choice but to put Shaw in his next starting line-up when they welcome West Ham United to Old Trafford on Saturday in the Premier League.
This is because the shambles away at Leicester City on Sunday was a disaster for more reasons than just the 5-3 scoreline at full-time.
Jonny Evans was forced off after only half an hour at the King Power Stadium when he attempted to block a Leonardo Ulloa shot and had his leg in a protective boot while watching from the bench.
Leicester’s fifth goal was from the penalty spot and they were awarded that after a foul by youngster Tyler Blackett on Jamie Vardy. Blackett could argue he was fouled by the Foxes’ striker in the build up to the goal, but there was no doubt that he committed the foul.
Vardy was bearing down on David de Gea’s goal, so referee Mark Clattenburg had little choice but to show the red card once he had pointed to the spot.
Blackett will be suspended for the West Ham match, so he and Evans join Phil Jones in missing the match, effectively leaving Van Gaal with four fit senior defenders – Shaw, Rafael, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo.
Deadline day signing Daley Blind can play at left-back and centre-back, but he was purchased by Van Gaal as a defensive midfielder and he has been deployed there in the two matches since he signed.
Another embarrassing upset cannot be ruled out at Old Trafford on Saturday, as West Ham will be in high spirits following their impressive 3-1 win over Liverpool at Upton Park last Saturday.
Sam Allardyce’s team have been energised by new signings Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho, whose pace up front pose a different proposition to opposition defenders than West Ham have for some time.