93% pass accuracy as 20-year-old impresses on United debut

Old Trafford

Tyler Blackett made his competitive Manchester United debut on Saturday, and he did not look out of place.

Manchester United may have lost 2-1 to Swansea City on Saturday, but there were still reasons to be cheerful.

Louis van Gaal gave debuts to two young players in the form of Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett, and while the former had to leave the field early due to injury, the latter played the entire match and gave a solid performance.

While Michael Keane and Tom Thorpe were the young defenders many fans thought would be given more chances this season, Blackett was the surprise inclusion after impressing on the club's pre-season tour. And while it could be argued he featured on Saturday more due to necessity than anything else, he showed enough to suggest he can become a regular feature in the United back-line in seasons to come.

Against Swansea, Blackett played 84 accurate passes - more than any other United player.  He also won three aerial duels, made two interceptions, three effective clearances and three such clearances with his head.  

He outdid the considerably more experienced Phil Jones in all but one area listed below (interceptions) and did not look like a fish out of water when compared with his older teammates.

  TeamPosAccurate PassAerial WonInterceptionEffective ClearanceEffective Head ClearanceMins
Tyler Blackett Man Utd DF 84 3 2 3 3 90
Chris Smalling Man Utd DF 73 7 1 5 4 90
Phil Jones Man Utd DF 61 2 4 1 1 90

Perhaps most impressively, Blackett's pass-accuracy was the second-best of any United player on Saturday, with only Nani's 93.75% bettering the 20-year-old's 93.33%.

United's defenders were given a lot of time on the ball compared with the players further up the pitch, but it was still a very composed display from a young man making his first competitive appearance for the club.

In short, while Louis van Gaal will almost certainly be dipping into the transfer market to buy at least one new centre-back before the window closes, Blackett showed enough to suggest he could have a big future at United.

  Pass Accuracy 
Nani 93.75
Tyler Blackett 93.33
Javier Hernández 90.00
Juan Mata 89.80
Chris Smalling 89.02
Phil Jones 88.41
Ander Herrera 87.80
Ashley Young 86.96
Darren Fletcher 82.46
Marouane Fellaini 81.82
Wayne Rooney 80.77
David de Gea 71.43
Jesse Lingard 69.23
Adnan Januzaj 66.67

What did you think of Blackett's performance against Swansea?

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