Gary Neville slams Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s goalkeeper strategy

Gary Neville slams Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s goalkeeper strategy

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville thinks pitting goalkeepers David de Gea and Dean Henderson against each other is an accident waiting to happen.

De Gea has made a number of high-profile errors over the last two seasons while Henderson has won plaudits for his outstanding displays on loan at Sheffield United.

Henderson has been told he will stay at Old Trafford this season to challenge De Gea for his place, but Neville is not convinced that this is a good plan.

Speaking on Sky Sports via The Express, Neville said:

‘This has got “problem” written all over it.

‘The one area of the pitch where you need consistency and stability is your goalkeeper, you need to know who your No.1 is, you cannot be flip-flopping.

‘It just does not work; I’ve never seen it work at any club or at international level.

‘Where there is a decision to be made about two goalkeepers you have to pick your No.1, go with him and stick with him, even if there is a mistake.’

Neville went on to say that if Henderson were to be given a chance between the sticks it would immediately signal the end of the Spaniard’s United career.

‘Once you take David de Gea out of the team and put Henderson in, you may as well forget about De Gea.

‘That’s coming from my experiences at United.’

It is a stark warning from Neville but the reality is that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to find a solution to two dilemmas: the continuing concerns over the 29-year-old’s inconsistency and the need to allow the 23-year-old to continue his development.

If Henderson were to go back out on loan there would be little for him to learn and if De Gea’s form did not get any better, Solskjaer would not have a viable alternative to him at the club.

Neville did not clarify how he would resolve these issues in another way and it seems that Solskjaer has little choice but to take the course of action that he has. The manager will hope that the competition will bring out the best in both keepers rather than cause unrest and confusion as the former captain has predicted.

Manchester United’s new star Donny van de Beek will be the 13th Dutch national to play for the senior side. But how much do you know about the other 12? Take our quiz below to find out.

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Red Billy is co-editor of The Peoples Person, author of three books and totally obsessed with football's transfer market. Always glad to get feedback - write to redbilly (at thepeoplesperson.com) or click the email link to send a message.