Manchester United have today announced that Paddy McNair, whose breakthrough into the first-team squad has been one of the highlights of Louis van Gaal's first season in charge, has extended his contract. His old contract had been due to expire this summer; his new deal will run until June 2017, with an option of an extra year.
McNair, who was a relatively unheralded reserve until United's early-season defensive crisis, has made ten appearances this season and has, one wobbly game against Southampton apart, impressed with his maturity and levelheadedness. He impressed at rightback against Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth round replay, and speaking after that game, Van Gaal hinted that his future might lie on the flanks:
He has done it already in the second team [Under-21s] and has done it now at a higher level in the first-team. Maybe he shall be the right fullback of Manchester United for the next 10 years, you never know. He has the chance.
And now he has at least two of those ten years.