NI teenager Paddy McNair handed Man Utd debut against West Ham

Paddy McNair
Paddy McNair in action for Manchester United's Under-21 team earlier this month

Northern Ireland Under-21 international Paddy McNair will make his Manchester United debut in Saturday's Premier League game against West Ham.

The Ballyclare youngster, 19, gets his chance for the Old Trafford giants because of a central defensive injury crisis in Louis van Gaal's squad.

McNair signed for Manchester United as a 16-year-old and has been a member of the club's under-21 squad.

He only made his Northern Ireland Under-21 debut earlier this month.

That was in the 4-1 defeat by Serbia at Shamrock Park when the attendance was a paltry 285 spectators.

A crowd of 76,000 spectators is expected for Saturday's game at Old Trafford.

McNair played in midfield during most of his early teenage years with the Ballyclare Colts but was converted into a defender after first coming to United's attention as a 12-year-old.

Injuries to Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, and suspension for Tyler Blackett has left van Gaal hasn't with a dearth of experienced central defenders.

McNair was an unused substitute in the shock Capital One Cup defeat by MK Dons a month ago.