Man Utd: Should Henderson start over De Gea?
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Manchester United star David De Gea is unhappy with the goalkeeper training at Old Trafford, according to reports. The Spain international is widely expected to be Erik ten Hag’s No 1 next term after shining in the 2021/2022 season. However, despite his standout displays, all isn’t well behind the scenes.
A year ago, it looked as though De Gea would struggle to keep his No 1 jersey at United after falling behind Dean Henderson in the pecking order.
However, after coronavirus delayed Henderson’s start to the season, the Spain international was able to consolidate his place between the sticks.
De Gea was recently voted as United’s players player of the season, having been a shining light under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
But, according to The Athletic, the 31-year-old isn’t entirely happy behind the scenes.
It’s claimed De Gea has ‘been disheartened in the past’ by some of the goalkeeper training.
High-profile coaches have arrived but, in his eyes, they’ve failed to take his game to the next level.
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De Gea is also said to be unhappy at losing his spot in the Spain national team, having last featured for his country back in 2020.
Luis Enrique has regularly overlooked the United star, despite his fine form, with the Spain boss saying recently: “I look to have three starting goalkeepers and I think that right now I have them.
“Honestly. I wouldn’t have an issue with any of the three of them starting.
“Unai [Simon] has accumulated some interesting experience.
“A goalkeeper should start the play and generate the first superiority, they must dominate the aerial play.
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“I need a goalkeeper that transmits peace and calmness to me, that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, errors are part of football.
“What they generate I like a lot.”
De Gea is now expected to be asked to adapt to Ten Hag’s possession-based style of play.
Coaches from Spain’s youth ranks have apparently noticed a ‘lack of development in technical areas’ which might have improved with better training.
Those close to De Gea reportedly think he will be ‘open’ to learning Ten Hag’s style.
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And he’s also described as a ‘real team player’ as he looks to retain the No 1 shirt for many years to come.
De Gea also took on more leadership responsibilities last term, fronting up after some shambolic defeats.
Speaking in May, after United’s season ended with a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, the veteran urged wantaway players to ‘just go’.
“It’s the same feeling,” he said after the defeat at Selhurst Park.
“The level we have shown in the last three or four months isn’t enough to win a Premier League match, we were sloppy, we lost some easy balls around our box, it’s impossible to win the games.
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“I just want to be positive, to forget about this season.
“The new manager [Erik ten Hag] was in the stands, so that’s a good signal. I hope things will get better for next season – that’s the past already. We all know it’s been a bad season, for everyone.
“The people who don’t want to stay, just go, and the people who really want to stay at the club, who want to fight for the club, let’s have a good rest in the summer, prepare ourselves in the mind and in the body and be ready to fight again next season.”
De Gea isn’t exactly safe at United.
But, if he can successfully adapt to life under Ten Hag, then the 31-year-old is unlikely to go anywhere.
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