Louis van Gaal: Manchester United have more than enough defenders

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has given the clearest indication yet that he won't be making any defensive acquisitions in January after suggesting in the aftermath of last night's 2-1 victory over Southampton that he has more than enough players to cope with the injury crisis that continues to ravage his backline.

The Red Devils have been heavily linked with a host of high profile centre-back targets in the build-up to the mid-season window, but judging by the Dutchman's latest comments, recent speculation has in fact been wide of the mark.

Van Gaal has already shown a desire to promote from within, and has called upon a number of different Old Trafford academy prospects to make the step up into the senior team when a number of his more senior stars have been sidelined.

Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair have both profited from the former Netherlands coach's philosophy, although the latter has potentially hampered his future first-team chances following a disastrous 35-minute display at St Mary's on Monday evening.

Chris Smalling also picked up another injury against Saints, forcing Van Gaal to switch Michael Carrick to centre-back after withdrawing McNair, having already introduced Jonny Evans as a like-for-like replacement for the crocked England international.

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The lack of experience in Manchester United's defence - which has been an issue ever since the departures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra during the summer - still does not seem to be an issue for the manager, though, who is happy to rely on all of the aforementioned stars plus summer signing Marcos Rojo, who featured for Argentina in the World Cup final in Brazil.

"When you have injuries you cannot solve the problem otherwise," Van Gaal was quoted saying by BT Sport. "Do we have to buy players? No. We have more than enough."

The return to fitness of Rafael, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw will also provide the Red Devils with a significant boost heading into the busy Christmas period as they look to maintain an impressive run of form which has produced five consecutive Premier League victories and lifted Van Gaal's side up to third place in the table.

Two goals from Robin van Persie last night secured all three points for Manchester United and left Southampton to rue their missed chances after Ronald Koeman's side failed to capitalise on a number of defensive errors.

But, despite those obvious frailties it looks as though Red Devils supporters will have to make do with what they've got and give their full backing to the players that Van Gaal has deemed good enough to represent the club this season.

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Louis van Gaal
Manchester United
Premier League

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