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Smalling now known as Pele – Van Gaal

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling’s new nickname is ‘Pele’ after Louis van Gaal made yet another blunder.

Van Gaal was at it again during Friday’s news conference, confusing Will Keane with his twin brother and former United striker Michael, who was sold to Burnley last year.

The Dutchman was asked about Will Keane’s chances in the first-team squad ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to Sheffield United after being recalled from his loan spell at Preston North End, and Van Gaal said: “Now Michael Keane has to do it by himself.”

Van Gaal’s gaffe added to his growing list of name clangers after famously calling Smalling ‘Mike’ during United’s pre-season tour, only to get it wrong again following November’s Champions League win over CSKA Moscow.

After he was made aware of his mistake on Friday, Van Gaal chuckled and added: “Or Will Keane… Michael is an easy name for me.

“I said to ‘Mike’ Smalling that I call him Pele because he had a fantastic move so it is easier to call him Pele now.”

Sat 9 Jan, 2016
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