Regan Poole looks set to feature for Manchester United in some capacity for their Europa League last-16 first leg match against Liverpool. The 17-year-old was originally due to feature for the Wales U19 in a pair of fixtures against the Czech Republic, but was withdrawn from the squad to prepare for the trip to Anfield.
Poole was one of two new players named in Manchester United's European squad for the second half of the season, alongside now injured striker Will Keane. He made his debut in the 90th minute of the last-32 win over FC Midtjylland, following his move from Newport County on the final day of the summer transfer window. The Cardiff-born defender has been an unused substitute three times this season and is set for further involvement amid an injury crisis at Old Trafford.
Marcos Rojo played his first full 90 minutes since recovering from shoulder surgery in the 1-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion, but Van Gaal was unable to name any genuine cover on the bench. Tim Fosu-Mensah replaced the Argentine against Arsenal and also came on for Matteo Darmian at The Hawthorns, however Van Gaal may opt to include more defensive cover for his back four in his matchday squad.
"Manchester United defender Regan Poole has been withdrawn from the Wales squad due to club commitments as his club prepares to face Liverpool in the Uefa Europa League on 10 March," a statement from the Wales Football Association read. Cardiff City's Sam Williams has been called up as a replacement.
Poole, who played for the Under-21s on Monday, is set to come face-to-face with the club he almost joined last summer, having undergone a trial at Liverpool. Joining up with the club's U18 side for a tournament in Germany, Poole was unable to stake a claim for a permanent move and eventually went on to swap League Two for United in September.
Phil Jones, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Luke Shaw represent the defenders currently out injured for a United side whose campaign has been defined by the continual stream of players ruled out with fitness problems. Van Gaal has given 14 academy graduates debuts since his appointment in 2014 as a result of the injury problems, and more could be forthcoming as the club look to fight on three fronts between now and the end of the season.