David de Gea set to edge out Manchester United team-mate Dean Henderson in battle to play in goal for the Europa League final against Villarreal after impressing in semi-final victory over Roma
- David de Gea and Dean Henderson have played four Europa League games
- But De Gea looks to have got the nod for the final in Gdansk on Wednesday
- The Spanish goalkeeper made many crucial stops in semi-final win over Roma
- Henderson though has been criticised for his Premier League form
David de Gea appears to have the backing from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to start in goal for Manchester United in next Wednesday’s Europa League final against Villarreal.
De Gea and team-mate Dean Henderson have started four matches each since the Red Devils dropped into the competition from the Champions League group stage.
But the Spanish stopper appears to have won the race to feature in the Gdansk final, according to the MEN, having featured in the quarter-finals against Granada as well as the semi-finals against Roma.
David de Gea has reportedly won the goalkeeping battle to start for Manchester United in next Wednesday’s Europa League final against Villarreal
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) may have chosen De Gea over Dean Henderson (left)
Despite United’s 3-2 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico that saw them progress 8-5 on aggregate, De Gea made a number of key saves that only strengthened his case to start the Villarreal clash.
It will come as a blow to Henderson who had featured in the earlier rounds against Real Sociedad and AC Milan.
Henderson has since been called into starting XI for Premier League duties, but this appears to have had the negative effect of giving De Gea more opportunities in Europe.
While De Gea has impressed during this time, Henderson has struggled and he was criticised for his poor positioning during a recent 4-2 defeat by Liverpool last week.
De Gea made a number of crucial saves in United’s semi-final victory over Roma
Solskjaer has been rotating his goalkeepers in the top flight recently, with De Gea in goal for Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Fulham.
However Henderson is expected to return between the sticks for the final game of the Premier League season at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.
Solskjaer faces an uncertain summer regarding his goalkeepers, with Henderson’s future having already been unclear.
The England goalkeeper only wants to stay on at Old Trafford if he is made a clear No 1, and his axing for the clash with Fulham at least indicated that was not the case.
Solskjaer has defended his selection of De Gea on Tuesday and insists he will only make his mind up over who will start next Wednesday after the Wolves clash.
Henderson though has been criticised in the Premier League, including in a recent 4-2 defeat by Liverpool at Old Trafford (above)
Speaking ahead of the Fulham game, Solskjaer said: ‘It is David’s turn to play now. Of course he has played in Europe, Dean’s played most of the league games.
‘For me it is about having two keepers ready for the final which is important.’
Asked if he had decided who would start the Europa League final, the Norwegian added: ‘It is up for grabs. I will make up my mind after these last two league games.’
Henderson penned a new £120,000 five-year deal at Old Trafford last year but is unhappy with his lack of playing time this term and is eager to seal first-team football elsewhere.
Tottenham, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have shown interest, but Spurs could be ruled out by the keeper’s desire to play Champions League football.
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