Tyler Blackett
Tyler Blackett could be dropped when Phil Jones and Chris Smalling return from injury

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has suggested Tyler Blackett could be the first name to be dropped when his defensive injury concerns ease.

The Dutchman guided United to a comfortable 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday 14 September, where Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Daley Blind made their home debuts.

As the club's new attacking options began to click, a backline of Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Blackett and another debutant, Marcos Rojo, enjoyed a largely trouble-free afternoon to record the club's second clean sheet of the season.

Blackett is the only defender in the United squad to have started every Premier League game this term and with Phil Jones ruled out for another three weeks and Chris Smalling still looking for full fitness, he is likely to earn more opportunities to impress in the coming weeks.

But Van Gaal has warned Blackett not to get carried away with his current role in the starting XI, suggesting the return of other options is likely to see him lose his place.

"I think we can do much better. I said let's make a new start. All the new players are playing," Van Gaal told BBC Sport after the match.

"We have very intelligent players. The most important thing is not the system but the philosophy. Tyler Blackett is a little bit lucky because a lot of central defenders are injured. He made a very good performance but there are also other defenders to come."

Left-footed centre-half Blackett had spells out on loan at Blackpool and Birmingham City last season but has retained a place in the first-team squad after impressing for the club during their pre-season.

The 20-year-old's emergence has been welcomed by fellow academy graduate Jonny Evans, who kept clean sheets playing alongside Blackett away to Burnley and against QPR.

"I've been very impressed. He is left-footed, so it has been good for the balance on the left-hand side," he told United's official website. "He's also a very strong and powerful lad, and it's surprised me how good his passing has been. He's done really well.

"I think from the first week of pre-season you could tell he was going to get a chance in the first team because he came back and hit the ground running, which was good to see.

"He's had that experience of going out on loan so he's got experience which has allowed him to make that step up and start playing in the first-team environment and I think he has adapted very well."

Van Gaal confirmed on 12 September he is still without a lot of members of his first-team squad, with Sam Johnstone, Michael Carrick, Smalling, Jones, James Wilson, Reece James, Jesse Lingard and Marouane Fellaini still to return.