The Man United boss admitted he had only seen Borthwick-Jackson in action once or twice but after discussing his current progress with Joyce, van Gaal had every confidence in bringing him on for Marcos Rojo who he wanted to have a rest.
“I have seen him once or twice and I have been impressed by him,” van Gaal told MUTV.
“Yesterday, I knew that Marouane Fellaini was injured, so I talked with [Under-21s coach] Warren Joyce and asked what he had for me.
“I’m always taking with him or [Under-18s coach] Paul McGuinness, and he [Joyce] 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.”
It says a lot about van Gaal’s faith in his coaching staff that he brought in Borthwick-Jackson effectively on the recommendation of Joyce alone and that should fill all other youngsters with a real sense of opportunity.
Breaking into United’s first-team for any young player is very hard to do but what van Gaal has shown by listening to Joyce is how important it can be to impress with the U21s because you never know what is around the corner.