Manchester United's £27 million summer signing Luke Shaw will face a frustrating wait for his Old Trafford bow after being ruled out for a month through injury, according to BBC Sport.
Shaw was in line to make his debut for the Red Devils in Saturday afternoon's Premier League curtain raiser against Swansea City, but United boss Louis van Gaal will now have to make new plans for his first game in charge following this afternoon's disappointing news.
The 19-year-old has a hamstring complaint that needs more treatment than first thought, which means Van Gaal has a major headache over two key positions in his starting XI before a ball has been kicked in anger this season.
Van Gaal surprisingly chose to use Reece James at left wing-back against Valencia in last night's final pre-season friendly with Shaw sidelined, giving the 20-year-old a wonderful opportunity to stake his place for a surprise first-team place.
Antonio Valencia is also a major doubt for the Swansea game with his own injury issues, along with another key defensive option in Jonny Evans also facing a late fitness test.
That leaves Van Gaal's options extremely limited and with time running out fast to add quality alternatives, but in the meantime Ashley Young looks nailed-on to start in one of the wing-back positions thanks to his encouraging pre-season form.
Transfer activity under fire
Shaw's spell on the sidelines will once again thrown United's transfer business, or lack of it, under the microscope.
United signed Shaw as a direct replacement for Patrice Evra, but got rid of Alexander Buttner as cover and have not drafted in another recognised left-back with the experience to provide the England international with competition for a starting spot.
Central defence also looks relatively threadbare when you consider Van Gaal's penchant for a 3-5-2 formation, with less than three weeks left before the transfer window slams shut.
Negotations over a €20m move for Argentine star Marcos Rojo will not be concluded in time for Saturday's clash with Swansea though, which means Van Gaal will have to put his faith in youth in the short-term and hope the gamble pays off to start his Old Trafford tenure in style.
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