Erik ten Hag praises ‘amazing’ Manchester United starlet for coming-of-age display vs Liverpool

Willy Kambwala comes to manager Erik ten Hag’s rescue against Liverpool

Erik ten Hag was full of praise and words of encouragement for Willy Kambwala after the Liverpool game.

Man United managed to come back from 1-0 down on Sunday only to concede a late Mo Salah penalty to share the spoils with a 2-2 score line.

Speaking to the BBC after the game, as quoted by Metro, Ten Hag expressed his worries regarding the injuries his defenders are currently recovering from, while praising Kambwala for his performances not just against Liverpool but also during training and other outings this season, encouraging him to take the opportunities coming towards him and make himself indispensable ahead of next season.

The 19-year-old French defender played the full 90 minutes against Liverpool on Sunday. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The 19-year-old French defender played the full 90 minutes against Liverpool on Sunday. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“I don’t think, at this short notice, they [Jonny Evans and Raphaël Varane] will return.

“The decision to bring Willy in is [sic] because he has been a long time training with us and, in his first game against West Ham United, he also did very well, his progress is amazing.

“During training, we didn’t have any doubts and, for instance, we could have also brought Casemiro down and then bring another midfielder in.

“We were convinced he could do the job and he has done brilliant. I am very pleased, very happy and it is another signal and message of the future of Manchester United.

“This team, the squad has high potential and if we get more players available, especially in the backline, where we have 27 different organisations, across the season, then the future will be very good.”

“Now it’s the challenge for him to do it consistently because, in the coming weeks, they will not return, so many players.

“So it’s a great opportunity for him. We have also other options. We can also bring Casemiro into a centre-half position. But I think, the choice for today, he absolutely deserved it and he showed it on the pitch.”

Ten Hag speaking to the BBC after the Liverpool game

Kambwala is worthy of every bit of praise coming his way

Kambwala has been one of the few individual lights shining at Old Trafford this season.

Kambwala's fellow United academy graduates Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho have also shone throughout the season. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Kambwala’s fellow United academy graduates Kobbie Mainoo and Alejandro Garnacho have also shone throughout the season. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

United’s injury woes at the back have already hampered their performances this season; were it not for Kambwala, things could have been much worse.

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Time and again, we have seen young players take the opportunity handed to them by injury-laden squads only to eventually become undroppable on the back of their performances. Kambwala has that chance now, and so far he has been promising. It is up to him now to prove whether he can become a stalwart for a new Man United for years to come.