Manchester United have suffered a fresh injury blow with Ashley Young facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after a severe groin injury. Young, 30, will undergo surgery to address the injury suffered in training with United boss confirming he expects the winger to be out for a "long time."
Young joins Luke Shaw on the long-term injury list with Phil Jones and Bastian Schweinsteiger still unavailable for Saturday's (23 January) Premier League clash with Southampton. In addition to Shaw, United are also still without Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo. Young has frequently filled in at both left and right-back in the absence of the trio, leaving van Gaal extremely short of options at the back.
"Ashley Young has a severe groin injury, it shall be operated on, so he's for a long time gone," van Gaal said. "It's unbelievable, but we're not lucky with that. Jones and Schweinsteiger cannot come back this weekend. You can count it and we have seven injuries."
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson's impressive performance against Liverpool could see him come in as a direct replacement for Young, but van Gaal is wary of putting too much pressure on the 19-year-old. "He's a very good player for his age. He has shown already that he can cope with the pressure but, with youth players, the question is always: are they consistent? One match or a substitution is always good, but consistency is always the question mark."
Van Gaal will have Adnan Januzaj available again, however. The Belgium international, who returned to Old Trafford at the beginning of the month when his loan spell at Borussia Dortmund was cut short, played with the Under-21 side on Tuesday (19 January) in a bid to improve his match fitness, getting on the scoresheet twice against their Southampton counterparts.
"I think that he is available. He made his work in the training sessions and he has played one match, which is not much of course. He needs to play more matches, but he is available."