It has been far from the ideal start to the season for Manchester United but Saturday’s 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium appears to have raised the confidence levels around Old Trafford.
Whilst a title challenge may be out of the question this term, a top four finish is certainly achievable given the fact that Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton have also made slow starts.
Louis van Gaal may have spent big in the summer but his lack of investment in a top centre half has been brought into question.
Whilst United have struggled defensively at times this season, the performance at the Emirates was encouraging, particularly that of young Northern Ireland international Paddy McNair.
The 19-year-old has been one of several centre back options used by Louis van Gaal this season and seems to have impressed the Dutchman more than most.
McNair looks set to keep his place until the January transfer window at least and has that time to convince van Gaal he may not even need to spend big on a new defender.
With McNair’s recent rise to the first team, we have identified five other youngsters on United’s books that could also make that step into the first team in the not too distant future.