Tyler Blackett: Who is the Manchester United youngster?

Louis van Gaal will give defender, 20, his debut against Swansea

Eyebrows were raised when Louis van Gaal named his starting XI for the Premier League opener against Swansea this morning.

Read more: Manchester United vs Swansea team news: Louis van Gaal names Tyler Blackett and Jesse Lingard in XI for Premier League opener

Van Gaal's first game in English football has seen him hand a Manchester United debut to 20-year-old local lad Tyler Blackett.

The Dutch coach, who will play the same 3-5-2 formation that took the Netherlands all the way to the World Cup semi-final, said yesterday that his squad was lacking, but this is a shock move from the experienced coach.

With Jonny Evans missing through injury, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are the only two centre-backs with first team experience in the United squad after the club decided not to renew the contracts of long-serving first-choice pair Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. Louis van Gaal signs salutes United fans before the match Louis van Gaal has made the shock decision to start the youngster

Those two have more than 750 combined appearances for United; Blackett has just 13 Championship appearances to his name in one season in senior football.

Blackett has been with United since he was eight. He is left-footed, stands 6ft 2in and is quick, playing much of his career as a left-back. He is extremely comfortable on the ball and has even played for United's Under-21s on the left-wing.

When Van Gaal came into the club he saw Blackett more of a centre-back than as a full-back, playing the youngster in every one of United's six pre-season matches on the left of the back three.

He completed 90 minutes twice and played at least a half in the four other matches.

Last season he had spells at both Blackpool, where he played five matches, and Birmingham City, where he played eight times, in the Championship, mainly operating as a left-back. Blackett had loan spells at Blackpool and Birmingham City last season Blackett had loan spells at Blackpool and Birmingham last season

He has played for England at every level from Under-16 to Under-19.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen