He has been Manchester United’s number one goalkeeper for a number of years and is seen as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, but David De Gea is no longer at his best and is regarded as a player who still has that one big error in him. For sure, he has saved the team on a regular basis during the side’s horrible decline, though, he is simply not doing enough at this moment of time.
Over the last two seasons, the Spaniard has conceded seven huge mistakes that has led directly to a goal in the league, which is the same amount as Bernd Leno, and one less than both Jordan Pickford and Martin Dubravka have conceded, who are nowhere near the level or quality of the 29-year-old.
De Gea’s unfortunate downfall had began at around the 2018 World Cup, where his individual mistakes and lack of leadership in his own penalty box had cost him severely and most importantly for his country, as they were kicked out of competition in the Round of 16 by Russia. Including all the penalties he faced, he only managed to save one of the 11 shots he faced on target. Not only that, Kepa Arrizabalaga is now preferred over him by the national coach Luis Enrique, as the former’s passing ability is superior and more suitable to Spain’s style of play when compared to the latter.
Focusing back to De Gea and his situation at Old Trafford, there are a lot of mixed feelings and opinions on the 29-year-old between the Manchester United supporters, as some will believe he is the most overprotected player at the club whilst others will feel he still one of the best shot-stoppers in Europe but is being constantly let down by the inconsistent defenders in front of him.
The former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper was once upon a time, seen as an influential individual that can help the team by saving the Red Devils 10 to 12 points a season. However, when you look back at the nine seasons David De Gea has had at Old Trafford, you could argue that he has had three to four top notch campaigns in goal, while the rest of the time, he has been poor and unconvincing.
Now, he is facing a lot of high pressure and he is not the type of football player to overcome big expectations, as both Dean Henderson and Sergio Romero are waiting patiently to try and become United’s number one goalkeeper. Solskjaer has been calm regarding to the goalkeeping situation and is expected to give the Spaniard his final chance, who will have to up his game to make it count.
Dean Henderson had spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Sheffield United, where he proved to be an important and consistent player for the Blades, who went on to finishing in 9th place under Chris Wilder. The Old Trafford faithful and their opinions on the 23-year-old is straight down the middle, as half of them feel he is in need of more Premier League experience before he become a regular starter at Manchester United, whilst the other half believe that he is ready to takeover from De Gea.
Overall, the goalkeeping dilemma is a win-win situation for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as they will either experience one of the following; a short term revival from David De Gea or Dean Henderson stepping up to the big occasion and becoming the club’s number one goalkeeper for the next five to ten years. In the end, the club will not be required to spend any time in the transfer market for a goalkeeper, and can focus on the other areas, such as the defence or midfield.