The Hard Tackle discuses the topic of Manchester United potentially selling David de Gea and replacing him from within their own academy or the club, in general.
Much has been made about David de Gea’s 2018-19 form. The Spaniard has been saving Manchester United the blushes for three seasons or perhaps, since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. But, de Gea is a fair bit away from the form or consistency that saw him bag the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year Award an unprecedented 4 times, including a consecutive streak of three years.
It all started from before Spain began their 2018 FIFA World Cup journey. There were already questions over David de Gea’s mentality due to the player being involved in an ongoing high-profile investigation in a sexual assault case. While de Gea was ultimately cleared, the criticism faced from the Spanish press and even the Spanish PM might have affected his form.
In Russia, de Gea was far from his best, with a blunder gifting Cristiano Ronaldo an easy goal as part of his hattrick, which sealed a 3-3 draw in Portugal vs Spain. The Spaniard managed just one clean sheet at the World Cup, which saw Spain being eliminated in the Round of 16 stage, with the hosts persevering on penalties.
His form hasn’t improved at the club level either. De Gea has managed just 7 clean sheets in the league this season and none in his last 12 games in all competitions for Manchester United. With his contract talks stalled and increasing interest from other top European clubs, there are calls for United to cash in on the 28-year-old.
There have been reports of Manchester United reigniting their interest in Jan Oblak as a potential replacement. But, what if the Red Devils take a gamble and replace De Gea from within their own club? The club is set to go under a rebuilding process once again in the summer and it might be the perfect time to promote someone worthy of being the first-choice goalkeeper.
Currently, United have three options they can try the aforementioned with.
This might be the most obvious choice if United do go the route we are talking about. The Argentinean has come up with the goods whenever handed an opportunity and showed in the matches against Arsenal, Chelsea and Wolves in the FA Cup.
Romero has a record of 27 clean sheets in 44 games for Manchester United and has been often billed as one of the best second-choice goalkeepers in the top five European leagues. He has been linked earlier with a move back to Argentina. But, Romero will likely stick around if United offer him the opportunity to assume the role of the first-choice goalkeeper at Old Trafford.
At 32, however, Romero is unlikely to be a long-term option and one that might just hint that Manchester United were unable to convince their targets to move to Old Trafford and replace David de Gea.
Still, an option worth considering in case Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ends up prioritising other positions in the summer transfer window.
The keeper that has the seal of approval from former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Joel Pereira is someone Mourinho rated highly and even tipped him to become the best Portuguese goalkeeper of the new generation. He was sent out on loan this season, firstly to Vitoria Setubal and then to KV Kortrijk in January.
He hasn’t played much while on loan at the Belgian club. His statistics for any club while on loan aren’t worth taking note and his performances for Manchester United Under-23s haven’t been totally impressive either, whenever played at that age level.
But, Jose Mourinho saw a spark or something in Joel Pereira. And while Mourinho was unsuccessful in his bid to get Manchester United to reclaim their grasp on the Premier League, perhaps, United can rely on the manager’s ability to spot talents, something he has done at previous clubs as well.
This might be a bit of a gamble, considering Pereira hasn’t exactly proven himself a worthy successor to de Gea by any means and has no experience of playing in the big leagues so far.
Our pick for the star that Manchester United could potentially gamble on to be the replacement for David de Gea. While Dean Henderson was tipped to be a prospect worth keeping an eye on from the start, his career progress has really cemented the same, with even England National Team manager Gareth Southgate singing his praises.
Part of the England Under-20 squad that won the World Cup in 2017, Dean Henderson first showed qualities of being a top goalkeeper when sent on a season-long loan to Shrewsbury Town in League One. Henderson kept 19 clean sheets for the club and was named in the League One Team of the Year for the 2017-18 season.
The 2018-19 season saw him take a step up from League One and go on loan to Sheffield United. It is here at the Blades that Henderson has shown the passion, desire, talent and commitment to be the first-choice goalkeeper for Manchester United for the upcoming seasons.
20 clean sheets in the league so far this season and some incredible performances have seen Sheffield United clinch promotion to the Premier League.
Henderson, despite being a youngster only on a season-long loan has revered to the Blades faithfuls due to his passion towards the club’s cause. Henderson has shown an ability to buy into the cause of the club he represents, which is something that is rare to find in modern-day footballers.
Manchester United need players who play for the badge and Dean Henderson has shown he can do that and more. The Premier League will be a step up. But, with two full seasons of experience as the first-choice goalkeeper in the English leagues, he might be ready for Premier League football.
Dean Henderson should be Manchester United’s best bet to replace David de Gea from within the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to be targeting a British core for his team and has highlighted that the players must feel for the club and play for the badge when donning the Manchester United colours.
The 22-year-old recently signed a new United deal in the summer of 2018 before being sent on loan to Sheffield United.
Henderson has already done it for one United this season. Perhaps, it might be time for him to do it for the one he has been at since the age of 14 and one that he is known to love. Manchester United could do with players who can bring in some youthful exuberance and passion into the dressing room.