A Manchester United insider doesn’t think David De Gea will leave the club, reports say. The Spain international is expected to be benched for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Norwich, with Sergio Romero primed to get the nod instead. He’s struggled for form of late yet has been repeatedly backed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who considers him the best shot-stopper on the planet.
Gone are the days where De Gea was the best goalkeeper in the land, with the United star suffering a fall from grace over the last 18 months.
Questions were being asked of the Spain international last summer after mistakes against the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona.
And De Gea’s erratic performances have continued this season.
The United star has made further mistakes against Arsenal, Watford, Everton and Tottenham – all with the shadow of Dean Henderson looming large in the background.
Henderson wants De Gea’s No 1 jersey when he returns to Old Trafford after two years with Sheffield United at the end of the season.
And that’s led to talk that De Gea could actually be sold.
LATEST LIVE SPORT TV DEALS
Get Sky Sports for just £25 per month for 3 months
Get BT Sport for HALF PRICE
However, a United insider has told The Athletic that’s unlikely to happen because ‘there is no market for him’.
Just back in September the club tied the 29-year-old down to a new and improved contract, ending months of uncertainty surrounding his future.
The deal made De Gea one of the Red Devils’ highest-earners, with the goalkeeper earning an annual salary of £12million at Old Trafford.
He used interest from Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain to convince United into giving him a huge salary.
But with De Gea waning in the time since, Solskjaer can be forgiven for fearing that may have been a mistake.
He doesn’t done that publicly. Instead he’s backed De Gea to come good, saying after the Spaniard’s error against Tottenham: “I don’t think it is a bad run when you concede two goals in seven games, which included matches against Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Everton. Everton was a freak goal.
THINK YOU KNOW FOOTBALL? Football quiz questions and answers: 15 questions and answers for your home pub quiz
“On Friday he might have saved it, he might not.
“But he makes great saves for us. He wins games for us. I still think he is best goalkeeper in the world.”
While that’s the case, United legend Gary Neville disagrees.
“Ederson and Alisson are better goalkeepers and have been for the last 18 months/two years, but I’d expect Ole to defend his player, of course,” Neville told Sky Sports on Wednesday.
“David de Gea, for two or three years, I think was the best ‘keeper in the world, or certainly the best in the Premier League.
“He won the Player of the Year here, and in a very difficult period for United, post-Sir Alex Ferguson, he was a shining light.
Man Utd have perfect player to offer Borussia Dortmund in Jadon Sancho transfer talks
Man Utd star approved Barcelona move – before getting worried
Why Man Utd star Anthony Martial has left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer frustrated
“The only player you could have said would go into any other team in the Premier League, or even the world. But since that 2018 World Cup, he’s had a really difficult time.
“What I don’t buy into is the idea that Dean Henderson from Sheffield United, on loan from Manchester United, can just go into that goal-mouth in front of the Stretford End and just deal with the demands of being a Manchester United goalkeeper.
“It takes a special character to actually be able to play in that goal. What I think De Gea has done over a four or five year period, before these last 18 months, is build up a lot of credit where he actually deserves a break and the opportunity to correct and get his form back where it needs to be.
“He’s shown before he can be world class. At the moment, he’s going through a really difficult patch. When a goalkeeper or any player goes through a difficult patch – mentally, it’s really tough – and you’re challenged.
“He’s at one of the biggest football clubs in the world and the scrutiny is on him constantly. There’s no escape at this club. That’s why I’d be a little bit cautious around Dean Henderson.
“That’s a lonely old place out there to make a mistake if you’re a Manchester United goalkeeper. With respect to Sheffield United, it’s very different to make a mistake there.”
THINK YOU KNOW SPORT? Test your sporting knowledge with our tricky quiz