The 24-year-old Spanish international was dropped in-favour of Sergio Romero for Man United’s opening day win against Tottenham Hotspur, with a lack of focus cited as the reason for his omission.
De Gea has been the subject of a huge transfer saga this summer with Rafa Benitez keen to install the player as Real Madrid’s new No.1. However, negotiations have been stalled due to United’s reluctance to sell De Gea unless Sergio Ramos moves the other way.
Speaking about De Gea’s future, Van Gaal was keen to reassure fans that the Spaniard could still be a United player come September.
He said: “Can he play for United again? Of course. The position of the goalkeeper is a position especially that you needed the highest concentration and the highest focus during 90 minutes.
“And when you are in circumstances where David de Gea is, it is difficult to cope with that. And we have seen that.
“We have observed in the preparation, in the matches against PSG and Barcelona. And that was not the David de Gea – and he felt the same – as last year.”
Also, Van Gaal hinted he may not pick De Gea until the transfer window closes at the start of next month and praised Argentina international Romero for his impressive debut.
He added: “Of course when the situation has been cleared after September 1 we will look again.”
With a deal for Ramos looking increasingly unlikely, United would be wise to do everything they can to secure the services of De Gea, who could make all the difference in a potential title-campaign this year.
However, with the saga surrounding De Gea having gone on all summer, United fans are likely to feel annoyed at the fact that the 24-year-old’s future is still uncertain.
Ed Woodward and Van Gaal have had all summer to decide De Gea’s fate and while every fan would love to retain his services, there is no guarantee his focus will reappear after the transfer window closes, especially if his heart is set on a move to Madrid.