Manchester United’s defensive woes have taken yet another turn for the worst, as it’s being speculated that Marcos Rojo could be missing for at least six weeks after dislocating his shoulder during the Manchester derby at the weekend.
With the pain of losing 1-0 to bitter rivals Manchester City still fresh in his mind Louis van Gaal will now have to once again experiment in order to field a back-line experienced enough to deal with the forthcoming challenges in the Premier League, according to the Daily Express.
Chris Smalling’s two yellow cards, and subsequent sending off, will see him sidelined for at least one fixture, whilst the Rojo blow adds insult to injury.
Of course United’s issues in the defensive third have been rife since the start of the season and, with both Jonny Evans and Phil Jones still absent through injury - ankle and shin splints respectively, Van Gaal now has a conundrum before his side host Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace on November 8.
The chances are that the Dutchman will once again call upon youngster Paddy McNair, who came on to replace Rojo during the clash at The Etihad, with fellow academy graduate Tyler Blackett another option.
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Both have looked comfortable during the early stages of the season but even so Van Gaal will rue Rojo’s loss, as the Argentina international is far more experienced.
Having arrived amid a degree of controversy from Sporting Lisbon in the summer the 24-year-old has taken his time to settle in, but certainly boasts the physicality and mental strength to compete in England’s premier division.
Moving forward his injury adds to a growing list of reasons as to why his manager might look for more defensive reinforcements come the New Year. A host of quality centre-backs have been earmarked for the January transfer window and if Van Gaal gets his way then fans could easily see two more arrive before the winter market slams shuts.
Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels and Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar appear to be the players sitting highest on United’s shortlist, though the former is highly unlikely to be available given his importance to Jurgen Klopp’s struggling Bundesliga side.