Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has hailed the progression of youngster Paddy McNair who has burst onto the first-team scene this season, reports by the Manchester Evening News.
McNair - who has starred in the Red Devils' past two Premier League fixtures - has impressed as the Red Devils have picked up maximum points with him in the team.
Hard training session
And Ferdinand has recalled McNair's early days at Old Trafford and revealed that the time when the youngster was 'being sick everywhere' after a bikes session at the club.
Ferdinand said: “I thought the way Paddy McNair came in against West Ham out of the blue was unbelievable. I remember seeing him as a kid and he was really little. He came as a midfielder and he was really small.
"I used to go into the gym early in the mornings and I went in one day and he was there and was doing a session on the bikes. Those sessions on the bikes are really hard and I remember Paddy getting off and going outside. I saw him going behind one of the bushes at the training ground and I ran out there and he was being sick everywhere.
“I asked him if he was OK and he just gave me this face as if to say ‘wow they are going to kill me here!'"
Ferdinand has, however, insisted that McNair has the mindset to become a success and has hailed the youngster's progress as 'phenomenal'.
He continued by saying: “But I saw straightaway he wasn’t going to give up. It didn’t beat him. He had a steely way about him. He works so hard at his game. His development has been phenomenal.
“He hasn’t arrived by chance. He has arrived because he has dragged himself up. I think it is a great story.
“It is good for the history of the club and the continuation of that tradition of bringing young players through."
Despite the progression of the likes of McNair and Tyler Blackett, Manchester United may well add an experienced centre-half in the January transfer window, but Ferdinand believes Van Gaal can rely on his inexperienced stars.
Ferdinand finished by saying: “With all the money that has been spent further up the pitch I think this is a nice balance to have. The club will do what they need to do in the January transfer market. I think that’s right.
“If they feel they need experience at the back then they will go and get it. But the manager can also rely on Tyler and Paddy.”
It remains to be seen as to whether McNair and Blackett will continue to star this season once all of Van Gaal's defenders return from injury. The Red Devils have endured a number of injury problems throughout the season so far, with the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans all having spent time on the sidelines.
Despite the problems, though, things have been looking up for the club of late after two consecutive victories moved them into fourth place in the Premier League. Van Gaal will now be hoping that a few more of his players return after the international break, with United next in action against West Brom on October 20.