Manchester United
Wayne Rooney has praised Paddy McNair after he played in United's first team against West Ham Getty

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has backed Louis van Gaal policy to trust in the Old Trafford academy, even though he let former youth players turned first-team stars Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley leave the team during the summer.

The Dutch manager has been credited during his long career with trusting and nurturing new talent, having handed debuts to Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona, while being also crucial in Thomas Muller's development in Bayern Munich's first team.

Since his summer move to Old Trafford, Van Gaal has already proved he trusts in United's academy after giving first-team chances to a number of youths including Tyler Blackett, Will Keane, Jesse Lingard, Reece James, Andreas Pereira and Patrick "Paddy" Mcnair.

Rooney has backed the new manager's decisions but did not shy away from the fact that Cleverley and Welbeck left the club during the summer transfer window.

"Although we let Tom Cleverley go on loan and Danny Welbeck go to Arsenal, we have brought in a young Manchester lad in Tyler Blackett who played every game until Saturday," he said to Manchester United's official website.

"The situation was forced on the manager but he has brought Paddy in and it's shown he isn't afraid to throw young players in."

Mcnair has been the last United prodigy to benefit from Van Gaal's trust in the youth system after he made his first-team debut during the 2-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday 27 September.

With Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones all injured, and Blackett suspended, the 19-year-old impressed Rooney with his role at the heart of the defence alongside new signing Marcos Rojo, preventing West Ham striker Enner Valencia from scoring.

"That was probably one of the bigger tests a young defender can face, up against a team putting in lots of crosses into the box, but he took it and stood up to it, especially in the second half," Rooney said.

"It won't get much tougher in terms of physical strength and aggression against him, but he dealt with it and we are all delighted with him.

"I saw the clearance he made at the end [to Valencia]. I thought he was tremendous for us."