David de Gea has been by far and away the best Spanish goalkeeper over the last two years but Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque continues to stay loyal to Iker Casillas.
That loyalty has nothing to do with Casillas’ ability any more and everything to do with the previous success he has had in his career, both with Real Madrid and Spain.
Earlier this week, Del Bosque confirmed that he would be using one goalkeeper against Costa Rica and another for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus on Sunday. So, De Gea will be back on the bench for that game.
You get the feeling this is actually one of the main driving points behind De Gea’s desire to return to Spain. It’s extremely hard for any player not based in Spain to break through into the national set-up and De Gea’s case is the perfect example.
For two years, he has been Man United’s best player, named Player and Fans’ Player of the Year for two consecutive years and in general has grown into one of the world’s best goalkeepers. By contrast, Casillas has continued to frustrate and stagnate.
Yet, De Gea was chosen to play in the friendly and Casillas for the competitive game. That must be frustrating for De Gea and something he feels can be solved by returning to Spain and that’s something which is well outside of Man United’s control.
Euro 2016 is next summer and De Gea wants to be Spain’s no.1 goalkeeper by that point. Can he earn that at United? As far as he is concerned, it’s clearly not a risk he wants to take.