David De Gea’s position as Manchester United’s undisputed No 1 could come under scrutiny for the first time this summer. Photo: Reuters
David De Gea’s position as Manchester United’s undisputed No 1 could come under scrutiny for the first time this summer. Photo: Reuters

De Gea blunders concern United

By CHRIS WHEELER Time of article published Mar 3, 2020

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David De Gea’s position as Manchester United’s undisputed No 1 could come under scrutiny for the first time this summer.

De Gea has been an automatic starter in goal for United since moving to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011 — racking up 393 appearances.

But a series of errors, culminating in Sunday’s blunder at Everton that gifted Dominic Calvert-Lewin a goal in the 1-1 draw, have raised questions about the 29-year-old Spaniard.

Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed De Gea as the best goalkeeper in the world when it was pointed out his mistakes had cost United seven goals since the start of last season, there are concerns at the club over his levels of performance and concentration.

Solskjaer kept faith in De Gea during a difficult spell a year ago and still hopes the keeper can play his way back into form. If the mistakes continue, however, the manager could face a difficult decision in the summer.

United will assess their goalkeeping situation over the next few months and are due to hold talks with Dean Henderson’s representatives before the end of March.

Henderson has emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League while on loan from Old Trafford to Sheffield United this season — helping the promoted club into contention for a European place.

England Under 21 star Henderson, who may well be given an improved contract by United to ward off interest from clubs around Europe, has ambitions to be first choice at Old Trafford and is now seen as a genuine threat to De Gea.

The 22-year-old is likely to be sent out on loan for a third season, possibly at Sheffield United again, unless De Gea’s situation changes. The Spaniard’s place has been unchallenged during his nine-year career at United.

Current No 2 Sergio Romero is set to play in Thursday’s FA Cup tie at Derby, but the Argentine is happy with his role, while 37-year-old Lee Grant is out following wrist surgery and Joel Pereira is on loan at Hearts.

If United ever decide to sell De Gea, one major hurdle would be the long-term deal paying him £375,000 a week that he signed in September. That limits the number of clubs who could afford him.

England manager Gareth Southgate is keen to hand Henderson his international debut before Euro 2020.

Southgate wants to give the keeper, who is likely to be third choice behind Jordan Pickford and Nick Pope, experience behind England’s back line before the European Championship.

Daily Mail

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