Manchester United had to dig deep and come back from a goal down once again but eventually emerged 3-1 victors in their FA Cup quarterfinal against Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Up until the 70th minute, the visiting side seemed to be in complete control of the tie and were the better side with Aleksander Mitrovic giving them a deserved lead.
United players looked tired and that was normal considering their mid-week exertions in Spain in the Europa League.
DDG was in fine form vs Fulham
Ultimately, the Cottagers lost their heads and three red cards including one for the manager meant the Red Devils came back into the contest and they scored thrice to ensure yet another visit to Wembley.
But the players have David de Gea to thank for keeping them in the tie as he came up with quite a few crucial saves including one stunning save to deny the Serbian a second goal.
He made a total of five crucial saves while also finishing the game with a passing accuracy of 91%. Despite the impressive showing, this season has once again brought into sharp focus his inability to cope with modern tactics.
The Spaniard still prefers long kicks than finding passing angles to the full-back and is still poor when it comes to sweeping opposition attacks as he prefers staying rooted to the line.
His cross claiming is another aspect where he is severely lacking and it is safe to say that Erik ten Hag needs a modern goalkeeper if he is to fully implement his high-pressing style.
The United No 1’s contract is set to finish at the end of the season and the club are unwilling to trigger the one-year extension clause as they do not want the Spaniard to continue on the same wage bracket.
New keeper to be brought in even if DDG stays
Both the club and De Gea are currently in the middle of agreeing a new contract but on much lower terms and as journalist Steve Bates pointed out to Givemesport, United will not abandon their search for a new keeper even if a deal is agreed.
“I think he will stay at Manchester United, because I think they will offer him a deal.
“But I think also that they will probably be looking longer-term for the goalkeeper who maybe can succeed De Gea and have a five to 10-year career at Old Trafford.”
Among the possible alternatives being eyed by the club at the moment are David Raya of Brentford and Diogo Costa of Porto. The budget will determine whether United can afford to go after a new keeper ahead of next season.
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