Louis van Gaal has no interest in whether a defender has age or experience on his side and instead concentrates on their ability to fit his profile and philosophy.
A host of central defenders including Ezequiel Garay and Mehdi Benatia were available in the summer but Van Gaal chose not to sign any of them.
As such, Manchester United were left weak in defence prior to anybody getting injured, let alone the current list of sidelined players United have at the moment.
Despite that, Van Gaal remains completely focused on fulfilling his own philosophy, rather than simply buying somebody who is a household name: “My concern is never the age or the experience,” he said.
“My concern is the profile and you have to fit in the profile. I don’t want to buy players who don’t fit into the profile. There are a lot of defenders in the world but I don’t want to buy any defender.
“Age is not so important. I played with the Dutch national team at the World Cup, with Bruno Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij – both 22. Neither had ever played in the Premier League or abroad. Now they are abroad because of the World Cup and I played with Ron Vlaar and he plays with Aston Villa.
“That was my defence and we did it very well at the World Cup and until Leicester [last Sunday] we had only conceded three goals in spite of the fact that we were not playing so well. Our defensive organisation was very good, but now you want to make everything negative and that’s not true.”
Experience and leadership at the back is something United have missed desperately since Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand left this summer and that doesn’t look like changing until January at the earliest when United can re-group.
The younger players such as Tom Thorpe and Paddy McNair should really be boosted by Van Gaal’s comments because it effectively gives them a golden opportunity to become a regular first-team player at United if they can impress him well enough.
There’s no doubt United will be in the actively in the market for a new defender come January regardless of what happens in the next few months and by the sounds of it, whoever that player may be, their attitude is going to be just as important a characteristic to Van Gaal.