The moment Jose Mourinho was announced as the manager of Manchester United, it was very much expected that a bunch of fringe players at Old Trafford will be facing the axe, some permanently while some on a temporary basis. We have seen the legendary Portuguese manager ruthlessly making alterations to the squad at each and every club he joined and the same is expected at Old Trafford.
Among the players who could be shown the exit door by Mourinho from the Red half of Manchester United, is Northern Irish international defender Paddy McNair as The Daily Star claims that the 21-year-old has been made available on loan. The report also claims that Scottish champions Celtic are interested in the versatile defender’s services on a season-long loan.
Though currently with the club on their pre-season tour of China, McNair is likely to be shipped out on loan to keep up his progress which faced a big stall last term. The Northern Irishman burst onto the scene in the 2014-15 season under Louis van Gaal and a series of impressive displays for the Red Devils earned him big plaudits. However, after his injury-hit last campaign, he fell down the pecking order last term and unlikely to get much playing time this term under Mourinho who has a wealth of options at his disposal.
McNair is a big utility player thanks to his versatility. The youngster started his career as a holding midfielder but gradually developed into a ball-playing centre back. His good pace and ability with the ball at his feet make him capable of doing a decent job if deployed as a right-back too.
The Manchester United youngster would be a smart addition to Celtic. The Hoops did reinforce their defensive ranks with the signing of veteran Kolo Toure but they would benefit from a versatile defender like McNair. All the Celtic central defenders were quite susceptible to injuries last campaign and adding another option at the heart of the defence won’t hurt their causes.
On the other hand, Celtic lack quality cover for first-choice right-back Mikael Lustig and McNair would come handy by providing Celtic depth in the right-back position. Another area that is craving for depth is the defensive midfield department. Nir Bitton has been one of the standout performers for the Bhoys over the years but the Israel international needs a quality cover which McNair is able to provide.
Once touted as the ‘future of Manchester United defence’, McNair would benefit big time from a loan spell and Celtic would be a brilliant option. The experience of playing in front of a 60k capacity crowd would help the highly-rated defender develop as an individual and after his comeback to Old Trafford, he can definitely fight for a first-team place at Old Trafford under Jose.