Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes David de Gea is the ‘best goalkeeper in the world’ and has thrown his full support behind the Man United and Spain superstar.
De Gea, 29, was at fault for Steven Bergwijn’s goal in Man United’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Friday and was heavily criticized by former Man United captain Roy Keane among many others.
Solskjaer doesn’t agree that De Gea is ‘overrated’ and backed his goalkeeper to continue to make big saves.
“David is the best goalkeeper in the world,” Solskjaer said. “He’s conceded two goals in the last seven games he’s played for us. There are two games against City, Chelsea, of course Tottenham, Everton. Two goals in seven games, we’ve gone on a run not conceding goals. The Everton one is a freak one, maybe. This one, he cannot save it. He makes great saves, he wins games for us and I still think he’s the best goalkeeper in the world. David’s working really hard. He’s not making errors that you see time and time again. He’s been consistently working hard in training and I’m very pleased with his work.”
Let us first remember that De Gea was named Man United’s player of the season for four out of five seasons from 2014 to 2018 and consistently was the main reason they had any chance of a top four finish in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
That said, there has been an increase in mistakes from the Spanish goalkeeper both for club and country over the last few seasons and the reason it is so noticeable is because he was so good previously. After being linked with a move to Real Madrid for what seemed like an eternity, he has signed a long-term extension at Man United and there’s no doubt he’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Jan Oblak, Thibaut Courtois, Marc Andre ter Stegen, Manuel Neuer, Ederson and Alisson are right up there with him too, but perhaps one of the reasons for De Gea’s dip in form is down to a lack of competition?
Sergio Romero is happy enough to play in the League Cup, Europa League and the odd FA Cup game but De Gea isn’t challenged at all as United’s starting goalkeeper. Dean Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United and has had a really good season for the Blades and some are suggesting that the 23-year-old should come back to Old Trafford to challenge for the starting spot next season.
It would appear that is maybe a few seasons too early for Henderson but maybe it would create more competition and help De Gea raise his game so he will be back to being the undisputed number one goalkeeper in the world. Solskjaer has said Henderson will be a future Man United and England number one but if De Gea keeps making big mistakes, maybe that future target for Henderson will be in 6-12 months time.