Love replaced Matteo Darmian after 36 minutes played at the Stadium of Light after the Italian defender dislocated his shoulder.
The 21-year-old Scot put in a solid enough display but he could not prevent Man United falling to a demoralising defeat. Van Gaal lamented the ‘unbelievable’ injury to Darmian but had good words for Love following the clash.
“It is unbelievable,” van Gaal said.
“It is a dislocation so he will be out for several weeks. We do not have many more full-backs, not even in the [youth] system. Donald Love has played today at right-back and he did it well.”
Yes, United have had to contend with a defensive injury crisis but they should still not have had to rely on youngsters such as Love and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson in what have been crucial games for the club.
Van Gaal chose to stick with a smaller squad in the summer and results have undoubtedly suffered. While players such as Borthwick-Jackson have impressed, van Gaal has also had to throw subpar members of the squad such as Nick Powell into the mix.