Home » Erik ten Hag suggests David de Gea’s time at Manchester United may be up

Erik ten Hag suggests David de Gea’s time at Manchester United may be up

by Seth Dooley

Erik ten Hag has spoken to the press about whether he would like to keep hold of a specific first team squad member.

Manchester United see several players’ contracts expiring in June 2023, those being Tom Heaton, Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, and Fred.

Many of these players have the option to trigger an automatic one year extension.

Ten Hag, however, is attempting to revitalise United’s squad, as seen through his signing of six new players last summer.

He was consequently asked whether he would like to extend De Gea’s soon-expiring contract.

Much has been made of United’s goalkeeping situation as of late. De Gea has felt the heat due to his lack of ball-playing ability and bravery to leave his comfort zone close to goal.

United have been linked with a move for Porto’s young keeper Diogo Costa and Benfica’s no.1 Odysseas Vlachodimos.

At the pre-match press conference ahead of United’s fixture against Tottenham Hotspur tonight, Ten Hag spoke about the Spaniard’s contract situation, saying:

‘We didn’t make a decision on him, but I can say I am really happy with David de Gea as a goalkeeper.

‘His first two games of the season were not his best performances but after that you see he brings us a lot for the defence department and stability.

‘As a person, also, I like him. I cooperate really well with him. But first, we go to the winter and then we will talk about how we deal with the situation.’

Important to highlight here is Ten Hag’s usage of ‘defence department’. The Dutchman likes to remain laconic in press conferences by choosing his words carefully, as evidenced through many of his rather blunt replies to journalists.

Ten Hag clearly desires a possession-based system in which his defence can play astutely out from the back. This starts with a goalkeeper who can initiate build up play and attacks.

Although he has proved himself to be a remarkable shotstopper, De Gea is simply unable to match the levels of his Premier League and European peers regarding passing, vision, composure, and availability. It is therefore debatable as to whether he should have his contract extended – even on a short term basis if United want to speed up their pursuit of title-challenging.

The manager – through praising De Gea but stating that no decision has been made – was careful to not close the door to either possibility.

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