Paddy McNair has earned the praise of Gary Neville for his performance in Manchester United’s U21s game against Liverpool and the former United legend believes the Northern Irishman has a big future at the club.
Playing in an unorthodox right-back role from the start, McNair, 19, looked completely comfortable and it was his superb goal from a tight angle which ended up being the winner for Man United.
McNair joined Man United as a no.10 attacker, has played at centre-back this season for the first-team and, at various points, played both at right-back and holding midfield against Liverpool, something which greatly impressed Neville.
“He’s a good footballer,” said Neville. “Louis van Gaal has thrust him into the first team. He came to Man Utd as a No 10, he’s learning so much, and you expect so much of them when they go in the first team.
“He had a couple of unfortunate experiences, away at Southampton when he was substituted on Monday Night Football, but he’s come back from that and you can see tonight he looks a real good player.
“That finish, a striker would have been proud of that.
“He was good in the first half, good on the ball in the second and actually when he went into midfield and played in the holding role, he showed he could play there too.”
Versatility is always a trait which will help younger players get more game time early in their career and McNair’s flexibility is something that will certainly put him in good stead with Louis van Gaal, as United’s boss is a known admirer of multi-functional players.
McNair joined United’s first-team squad thanks to a defensive injury crisis and has taken full advantage of the opportunities given to him. He’ll be hoping there are more to come this season.