Di’Shon Bernard set for league debut after Man Utd dealt transfer blow

Manchester United cannot recall Chris Smalling from Roma to help solve their defensive crisis.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is struggling to find some fit and available centre backs ahead of this weekend's visit of Norwich.

Harry Maguire has added to the crisis after breaking down with a hip problem that could leave him sidelined for up to two months.

His absence is a huge blow to United, who are already without Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo due to injuries.

To make matters worse Luke Shaw has been battling illness while Phil Jones, who deputised for Maguire in Tuesday's Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City, finished the game with cramps.

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One option would have been to recall Smalling from his season-long loan with Roma, but it is understood there is no option in the deal to bring him back.

It leaves Solskjaer with just Victor Lindelof as his only recognised centre back as he prepares for the visit of the Canaries on Saturday.

Solskjaer could be left with no option but to call on Di'Shon Bernard, who made his first team debut in the Champions League defeat to Astana in Kazakhstan in November.

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But the 19-year-old has never featured in the Premier League and handing him his debut in a team low on confidence would be considered a huge risk.

Solskjaer could also consider asking Nemanja Matic to drop back from midfield to defence, but with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay also injured, he needs the Serbian international in his rightful position.

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United have recalled left-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from a loan spell at League One Tranmere and he could go straight into the squad for the Canaries clash.

Bernard scored an own-goal against Astana in United's 2-1 defeat, and Solskjaer revealed after the game what he told the youngster in a pep talk.

"He was disappointed and he’ll remember that from his debut," the United boss said.

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"But I wanted him to remember the other 92 minutes and every other touch he had.

"Because he defended well, he had some last-ditch clearances, I thought he was excellent and he was composed on the ball as well.

"Sometimes strikers miss chances, sometimes defenders score an own goal, that’s partly down to luck and bad luck and I thought he did really well. That’s why I wanted him to remember this game for."

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