Louis van Gaal has explained why he handed Cameron Borthwick-Jackson his Manchester United debut against West Brom at the weekend.
The 18-year-old defender came off the bench to replace Marcos Rojo in the final 15 minutes of the 2-0 win and didn’t look overawed by the occasion.
Van Gaal insists he selected the Manchester-born defender “without any fear” following conversations with Under-18 coach Paul McGuinness and Under-21 manager Warren Joyce.
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"I have seen him once or twice and I have been impressed by him,” the veteran Dutch coach was quoted as telling the MUTV by the Mirror. "I knew that Marouane Fellaini was injured, so I talked with Warren Joyce and asked what he had for me.
"I’m always talking with him or Paul McGuinness, and he said at the moment the left full-back is in good shape. I needed a left full-back because Marcos Rojo had played a few games in a row, so I have to take into account that it might be too much.
"I put Cameron in the line-up without any fear, and I have to say he did very well."
Borthwick-Jackson: United's latest starlet
Borthwick-Jackson didn’t have an awful lot to do during the quarter-of-an-hour he was on the pitch, but he successfully completed three out of five passes and won both of his aerial duels.
His cameo appearance should give the teenager confidence and spur him on to continue working hard with the youth team, safe in the knowledge that he is in Van Gaal’s thoughts.
Competition is fierce at Manchester United, but the likes of Tyler Blackett, Paddy McNair, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard are evidence that Van Gaal is prepared to call on younger players when required.
Video: Borthwick-Jackson highlights v West Brom
Click play on the video below to see Cameron Borthwick-Jackson’s individual highlights v West Brom…
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