In a stark warning to the whole squad, a leading football outlet claims that ‘nobody is safe at Manchester United’, not even the Red Devils’ player of the year.
New head coach Erik ten Hag has already begun embarking upon a much needed rebuild at the 13 time Premier league champions. And it brings into question whether or not de Gea fits in with his supposed style of play, despite the Spaniard being hailed as “one of the best goalkeepers in the world — if not the best” by former Utd boss Ralf Rangnick.
The Old Trafford side look almost certain to move towards the Dutchman’s favoured possession-based football next season.
And it will be of paramount importance that his keeper is not only comfortable with the ball but also able to initiate moves from the back.
The Athletic goes on to say “the ultimate aim is to create patterns with the ball and provide more tools for his team to start any move on the front foot.
At the same time, Ten Hag remains open to players being creative and taking a less obvious route, like driving with the ball up the pitch to break the lines or playing a long pass to disrupt the opponents’ defensive set-up”
De Gea was voted United Players’ Player of the Season yet again in 2021/22.
And a quick glance at his stats only backs up further his importance to the team, as he was among the top three shot stoppers last season.
But while he has many other obvious attributes to his game, it is widely accepted that distribution and initiating attacks isn’t among them.
Despite appearing almost 500 times for United and receiving 45 caps for Spain, the 31 year old finds himself not being picked for his country of late, again due to the uncertainty in his willingness to be proactive in possession.
It remains to be seen if he can convince Ten Hag and his new coaching set-up in pre-season, or whether a closer look at current United number two Dean Henderson is warranted, amid heavy interest from other clubs looking to offer the Englishman regular first team football.