Van Gaal admits one of four starting defender positions is open



Shortly after Paris St. Germain carved up the Manchester United defense, Manager Louis van Gaal admitted that his right central defender spot is totally up for grabs. In talking to the media following the 2-0 loss to PSG, Van Gaal sounded very high on new acquisition Matteo Darmian. And Left Back, you know the club is highly invested in Luke Shaw as they broke the all time British transfer record for a teenager to acquire him.

Here’s what Van Gaal said about the back four once the preseason tour of the United States concluded.

‘I think I shall play (Luke) Shaw with Blind and Matteo Darmian and then the right central defenders position I have to consider.”

So three of the back four are set, leaving an open battle between Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. Marcos Rojo is currently in the dog house given his passport issues that kept him from his scheduled joining up the tour last weekend. 

Rojo had international paperwork issues last summer too; which delayed his entry to the team.


Jones looked very poor last night on the same exact pitch (Soldier Field, Chicago) where he made his Manchester United debut four years ago versus the Chicago Fire in an international friendly. Jones certainly played his part in the complete fiasco which led to PSG’s first goal.

Paris’ second goal was carving straight through the center of United’s defense as well. Just like last season, it appears to be this team’s main weakness. And they’ll likely have to figure it out with what they have. After that whole Sergio Ramos soap opera, he seems set to stay at Real Madrid. There haven’t been any rumblings lately about Nicolas Otamendi, and no other central defenders have been linked to the club.

It looks like this is the hand Van Gaal might have to play in the back line.

Paul M. Banks owns, operates and writes The Sports, which is part of the FOX Sports Engage Network. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. He also appears regularly on numerous talk radio stations all across the country.

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