David De Gea was brought to Manchester United with the label as one of the most promising goalkeepers in all of world soccer. However, he is becoming known for letting in soft goals. He was brought over from Atletico Madrid in an £18 million deal and was awarded the starting keeper jersey. However, with recent performances his job is under fire.
De Gea was brought in to be the long time successor for Edwin van der Sar. He is still young and starting over in a new league. However, the goals he’s conceded in the Community Shield and again this past weekend against West Brom cannot be condoned. For a team challenging for a Premier League title, these mistakes cannot happen. Fortunately, both mistakes didn’t cost United as the team battled back and won both games.
However, the problem with De Gea may be deeper than just nerves. In Spain, he would have no doubt received protection from the referees on corners and set pieces. He will not receive this protection and has already been subject to the game’s more physical nature in his first appearances. This is creating a harder time for him to control his area and he has looked shaky on high balls because of this.
De Gea also has a history of letting in long-range efforts, which was emphasized by Edin Dzeko’s goal in the Community Shield. During the previous season, only two other goalies in the top five European leagues allowed more goals from range than De Gea. If this persists it could certainly come back to haunt United.
The question remains on whether or not he should stay in the United goal. Taking De Gea out now may damage his confidence, but if he is left in and continues to make mistakes it will be even more damaging to United’s title push. The decision to remove him from the starting XI is a tricky one for Sir Alex, but it is made slightly easier with Anders Lindegaard waiting on the bench. He has already shown his ability in United’s preseason in the United States and has shown he can command the box. During the preseason, the United backline looked comfortable and confident with him back there. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for De Gea right now.
Even though De Gea is 20 years old, he still has experience winning the Europa League with Atletico. With that experience and the fee United spent on him, he may warrant a few more games between the posts for the Red Devils. However, if the mistakes persist the starting position should be entrusted to Lindegaard’s capable hands.
United have improved their squad this summer and look poised to repeat as champions at this early stage in the season. The last thing Sir Alex and the Red Devils faithful will want is a young goalkeeper’s instability causing the trophy to slip away. Sir Alex is arguably the best manager in the EPL and has enough knowledge to make the correct decision. It seems for now, De Gea will continue as United’s keeper, but for how long rests all in his hands.