David de Gea has backed deadline day signing Marcel Sabitzer to step up with Christian Eriksen and Casemiro both unavailable.
The 28-year-old Austrian, who joined Manchester United on loan from Bayern Munich, came off the bench to make his Red Devils debut in the 2-1 win against Crystal Palace yesterday.
While United’s new number 15 may have been forgiven for thinking he would have been lining up in midfield alongside Casemiro, the 68-time Austria international made his bow with Erik ten Hag’s side down to ten men following the Brazilian’s red card.
But alongside Fred and Bruno Fernandes, the former Red Bull Leipzig midfield produced an industrious and energetic cameo which helped get United over the line past Patrick Vieira’s Eagles.
David de Gea backs Marcel Sabitzer to step up with Christian Eriksen and Casemiro unavailable
With Donny van de Beek out for the long-term, Scott McTominay struggling, Eriksen out until late April, and Casemiro now facing a three-game ban, Sabitzer will likely be handed his full debut against Leeds United on Wednesday alongside Fred and Fernandes.
While De Gea is under no illusion that United will be weaker without our first choice midfield duo, the 32-year-old liked what he saw from Sabitzer and has backed the box-to-box midfielder “to help the team a lot”.
“It’s going to be tough, for sure. We lost already Christian, now Case, big players for us, but we have a bigger squad, players are ready to play, everyone is really focused,” De Gea said via The Athletic.
“He (Sabitzer) shows already — he played 15 to 20 minutes, he did really well, made some good tackles, good with the ball. Everyone is ready to play.
“He’s an experienced guy, he played a lot of games in the Bundesliga. He’s a nice guy, a very nice lad, it’s good for the dressing room. I think he showed in 15 minutes, it’s not easy to come in a game when we’re one man less, he showed good spirit. I think he’s going to help the team a lot.”