On Valentine’s weekend it was appropriate that Manchester United gave a league debut to their young Scottish defender Donald Love.
Unfortunately for the player and his increasingly beleaguered manager, there was no happy ending as Louis van Gaal’s side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Sunderland.
Love took to the field in the 37th minute, replacing the injured full-back Matteo Darmian, who will be missing for several weeks after dislocating a shoulder.
It was a difficult game to come into and although Anthony Martial drew United level after Wahbi Khazri’s early opener, Sunderland won thanks to a late own goal by David de Gea.
Born in Rochdale, Love qualifies for Scotland through his father, who is from Stranraer. He joined United at the age of seven after being watched by Sir Alex Ferguson. He made his way through the Old Trafford ranks and broke into the under-18 set-up in the 2011-12 season.
His preferred position is right-back and he has played for Scotland at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level, having been recommended to the SFA by former United midfielder Darren Fletcher.
Love spent the early part of this season on loan at Wigan Athletic.