The custodian has been a shadow of his former self at the club.
David de Gea will complete 10 years at Manchester United at the end of the current season. He has served the club diligently, especially after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. He has been the club’s best player in the past decade, often being hailed as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
However, the Spaniard’s time with the Red Devils seems to have come to an end. The rise of Dean Henderson has fueled the imminent departure of the custodian. David de Gea is heading towards the latter stages of his career and could move on to ensure regular game time.
The custodian’s fate is most likely sealed after making over 350 appearances for the side, winning seven trophies overall. Here are the five reasons that suggest his career at Manchester United is soon coming to an end.
5. Uncharacteristic mistakes
In the previous couple of seasons, de Gea has been a shadow of his former self. After being on top of his game for several years, the custodian’s form has seen a lot of inconsistency. In his initial years at MUFC, the Spaniard struggled with Premier League’s physicality and was often overpowered inside the penalty area.
Repeating those same mistakes, he has been found lacking in committing himself in one-on-one situations and aerial balls. The opposition players have caught up on this and overcrowd him during free kicks and corners, which has led to plenty of goals. Despite making incredible saves, the goalkeeper has made uncharacteristic errors, leading to a loss of points.
4. The age factor
David de Gea is in his thirties and only getting older by the day. Although a goalkeeper’s shelf life is longer than the outfield players, Manchester United has to look towards the future. With a keeper like Dean Henderson knocking on the door for a starting position, the role of David de Gea at the club is quickly becoming lesser.
As for the player too, he must look towards playing regularly, especially entering into the final stages of his career. Lately, the custodian has fallen down the pecking order for the Spanish national team as well. He needs to move out and fight for a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad in Qatar, which could well be his last appearance.
3. Problem of plenty
Manchester United is spending £420,000 on four goalkeepers excluding Dean Henderson. The large chunk of this amount is earned by David de Gea (£350,000), making him one of the highest earning players in the Premier League and the highest earning player in the Manchester United squad. He has become a very expensive bench player for the team.
According to reports, MUFC are looking to sell all of their backup goalkeepers, including De Gea. The Spaniard still has two years left on his contract, and the club might have to pay a huge chunk of that money to relieve him of his services, unless another club puts in a bid for the player. In order to continue the rebuild, it is imperative for the club to lessen the wage bill, which could see David de Gea leave.
2. Interest from other clubs
David de Gea is still considered a world class keeper and several elite European clubs are reportedly interested in signing him. Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the player for a move. Atletico Madrid are also interested in bringing him back to Spain, where he can be closer to his family.
Furthermore, securing his signature would be easy with Manchester United looking to sell and make room for a replacement. The Spaniard’s current market value stands at €25 million, but he could be signed at a much cheaper price.
1. The rise of Dean Henderson
Dean Henderson is another one of Manchester United’s famed academy products who is destined for greatness. He had an excellent loan period at Sheffield United, where he guided the Blades to promotion and retain their Premier League status for another year. As a result, the Englishman made a strong case for a starting position at his parent club.
In comparison, Henderson has shown better command over the penalty box. He is more comfortable during set-pieces. The 24-year-old has yet to fulfill his true potential and will continue to develop, given he plays regularly. He has quietly displaced De Gea as the preferred choice between the sticks and has kept 12 clean sheets in 20 appearances for the side.