Paddy McNair made his first team debut at the weekend against West Ham, following a defensive crisis.

Wayne Rooney, who was sent off in the game, has sung the praises of the youngster.

“That was probably one of the bigger tests a young defender can face, up against a team putting in lots of crosses into the box, but he took it and stood up to it, especially in the second half,” said Rooney. “It won’t get much tougher in terms of physical strength and aggression against him, but he dealt with it and we are all delighted with him.”

At one point in the game, West Ham looked certain to score, only for McNair to somehow get his head on the end of a dangerous cross. Rooney added: “I saw the clearance he made at the end. I thought he was tremendous for us.”

Juan Mata, in his weekly blog, also singled McNair out for praise.

It was also unforgettable for Paddy McNair. Making a debut with Manchester United at Old Trafford being just 19 is amazing, and I am sure he will always remember this day. It’s good for the young players to see that they can fit in the first team. It has always happened in this club and it’s a good tradition to keep. In my opinion, Paddy has a bright future ahead.

His U-21 team captain, Tom Thorpe, also sung the praises of McNair.

“Paddy did really well,” he said. “His header basically saved a goal so he did great.”




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