De Gea has missed the club’s past three games after suffering a knee injury in the warm-up of their Europa League game away to FC Midtjylland.
However, in a boost ahead of Arsenal, van Gaal said he expects the 25-year-old to be back in action this weekend but was less sure on the status of Chris Smalling.
“I expect [David can return] because I saw the way he was today,” van Gaal said on Thursday.
“Chris is a question mark, but you never know.”
If there is one player we need back in action to have any chance of winning this weekend, it’s De Gea. For the third season in succession, he’s been our most important player and as Arsenal always create plenty of chances, he’s set for a busy day at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Our squad has been ravaged with injuries this year but heading into March we will hopefully start to see light at the end of the tunnel and De Gea’s return this weekend would be an excellent start to that.