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Paddy McNair can be Man United's right-back for 10 years - Louis van Gaal

Paddy McNair can be Manchester United's regular right-back for the next 10 years, manager Louis van Gaal says.

The 19-year-old played as a central midfielder while coming through United's youth teams, but shifted to the backline as a central defender when he debuted for the senior team in September.

He made his full debut at right-back against Cambridge on Tuesday and further opened Van Gaal's eyes to his future at Old Trafford.

The manager told the club's official website: "It is not only Paddy McNair who has impressed with his development, as I have given a lot of chances to younger players. But Paddy McNair has developed himself very well, not only as a central defender but now we are giving him the chance to develop as a full-back and he did it very well.

"He has done it already in the second team [Under-21s] and has done it now at a higher level in the first-team. Maybe he shall be the right full-back of Manchester United for the next 10 years, you never know. He has the chance."

Paddy McNair has impressed Louis Van Gaal in his first season with United's senior team.

McNair said his experience at centre-back helped him transition to full-back in United's 3-0 win against Cambridge in the FA Cup fourth round replay.

"I enjoyed getting down the right flank," he said. "I actually enjoy getting forward. It was a bit different. I played there for the Under-21s and I played there for the first time [in the senior team] against Yeovil in the second half. It was good to play there.

"I've played in a three at the back, so it's kind of similar. It is similar to centre-back, but you've just got a bit more running forward to do, a lot more sprinting and overlapping. A lot of the time I was in their 18-yard box; when you're a centre-back you don't really get over the halfway line that much.

"As a centre-back, you always want your right-back to cover you. When I was playing there I thought, 'When I'm playing centre-back, I want my right-back to be here,' so that's where I went."


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