Manchester United are set to turn to 19 year old defender Paddy McNair for the game against West Ham United on Saturday, so significant are their defensive problems ahead of the Premier League clash, as reported by The Guardian.
A crisis in central defence has caused Louis van Gaal to look into using the Northern Irish youngster, who has never made a first team appearance for any side at any level in the professional game.
McNair joined Man Utd three years ago as a midfielder, but time in the youth setup has seen him develop into a central defender.
With Chris Smalling lacking fitness, Man Utd’s options are slowly drying up in defence. Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are both injured, with Tyler Blackett suspended for the red card he picked up in the 5-3 loss against Leicester City.
While Michael Carrick can play in defence, he has only just returned from a long term injury.
Luke Shaw will almost certainly be given his debut after his big money summer move, with Marcos Rojo likely to partner one of McNair or Daley Blind in the centre of defence.