Jonny Evans will be charged with the task of deputising for Nemanja Vidic in Tuesday night's UEFA Champions League tie with Inter Milan.
United's imposing Serbian is suspended for the San Siro clash, meaning responsibility will fall on 21-year-old Evans' shoulders.
Sir Alex Ferguson could have called on the experience of either Gary O'Neville or John O'Shea but feels specialist centre-half Evans is the man to step-in alongside Rio Ferdinand.
"Jonny has played in a lot of big games this season but he has never been overawed," said Ferguson.
"He played twice against Chelsea and played both games against Villarreal earlier in the competition.
"For a young boy of 21, his reading of the game and use of the ball is absolutely fantastic."
Ferguson's other outstanding issue is whether to pitch Wayne Rooney into such a high-profile game given his lack of match practise following injury.
With Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez in good form, it would not be a massive blow if United had to do without the England man.
However, the Red Devils chief is aware of the damage a fully fit Rooney can cause.
"Obviously we would have preferred it if he had played the last couple of games," said Ferguson.
"But his training has been terrific and he showed on Wednesday night his sharpness was there.
"Tomorrow's game will tell us more about his general fitness to go 90 minutes.
"If he comes through it there is no question it gives me more options for."