Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that fear of burnout or injury to Marcos Rojo was one of the reasons for the Dutch manager opting to deploy 18-year-old full back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson as a late substitute during the Red Devils' 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (7 November). The young defender made his debut for the senior squad against the Baggies, and earned the chance due to his impressive showing with the Old Trafford club's youth teams.
The Dutchman is short of options at left-back following Luke Shaw's double leg fracture, and only has Rojo, as an alternative. The Argentine international has played every game since his injury return, and Van Gaal was keen to give him a breather. The manager, who has handed a number of young players their debuts since his arrival last summer, indicated that he was not at all afraid of handing the young defender his first senior cap.
The former Bayern Munich manager was impressed with the defender's performance in the final 15 minutes of the game. He also admitted to having consulted his youth team coaches regarding the readiness of the player to handle the big stage.
"I needed a left full-back because Marcos Rojo had played a few games in a row, so I have to take into account that it might be too much," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. "I put Cameron in the line-up without any fear and I have to say he did very well. I have seen him once or twice and I have been impressed by him."
"I knew that Marouane Fellaini was injured, so I talked with [Under-21s coach] Warren Joyce and asked what he had for me. I am always taking with him or [Under-18s coach] Paul McGuinness and Joyce said at the moment the left full-back is in good shape," the Dutch manager added.