Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men resumed Premier League action with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham.
Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty atoned for a horrifying mistake by United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Former United great, Roy Keane had few harsh words for the goalkeeper while speaking to Sky Sports, “De Gea is the most overrated goalkeeper I’ve seen in a long, long time”.
He added, “I would be fining him at half-time, there is no getting away from that. I would be swinging punches at that guy.”
The draw saw United maintain a four point gap over Spurs and remain two points behind Chelsea in 4th, who have a game in hand.
Fall of De Gea
Sir Alex Ferguson coached more than 1400 matches in his 26-year spell.
Yet, he is famously known for missing two matches in his entire history with the Red Devils.
The 1st came in 2000 in which he went to attend his son’s wedding.
And the 2nd came in 2008, when he was on a scouting mission for the young Spanish goalkeeper, David De Gea.
“Sir Alex knew within 65 minutes that he was the right signing” said former goalkeeping coach Eric Steele in his interview with Daily Mail.
The Spaniard has been one of the first names on the team sheet since his arrival at Manchester United back in 2011.
Yet, many believe that his prime years are long gone.
De Gea has started this season without the usual spark. Going into gameweek 31, he has only kept 8 clean sheets in the Premier League.
He is also high up the list in the errors leading to goal. Only Martin Dubravka of Newcastle has made more errors (4) than the Spanish goalkeeper (3).
Time for a change
Some Man United fans now believe that their club should take a more pragmatic way to deal with the De Gea situation taking an example from their rivals such as Chelsea and Manchester City.
Both these clubs famously ditched their long-standing man between the posts with a younger and a more in-form player.
At Chelsea, Petr Cech became the number 2 when Thibaut Courtois arrived from Atletico. As a result, Cech left Chelsea in 2015 to join rivals, Arsenal.
Similarly, after loan spells at Tranmere, Blackpool and Birmingham, Joe Hart displaced Shay Given from the number 1 spot.
Petr Cech was a great goalkeeper at Chelsea for many years, started declining, and was then replaced by Thibaut Courtois after a successful loan at Atlético Madrid. The same should be happening at Man Utd next season. pic.twitter.com/5DwQ39DXXp— Ryan. 🔴 (@Vintage_Utd) June 20, 2020
De Gea is in the same situation Petr Cech was in at Chelsea in 2014… and Shay Given at Man City in 2010. A younger keeper is excelling out on loan ready to return and claim their number 1 spot.— Sibs (@SibsMUFC) June 20, 2020
Mourinho chose Courtois
Mancini chose Hart
Ole will choose Henderson
The United hierarchy can take a similar approach. They boast of having an excellent goalkeeper in Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United.
His heroics till now has played a huge part on their fairytale Premier League season where they now sit at 7th position.
He has been exceptional this season keeping an astonishing 11 clean sheets only behind Liverpool’s Alisson.
Best decision going forward
Making the Sheffield United player number 1 at Manchester next season might be a naive decision at this point as it is different and difficult to perform at a bigger club where the expectations are sky high.
The best decision might be to bring Henderson to Old Trafford next season to increase the competition at the goalkeeping position and also giving the young goalkeeper a taste of what is yet to come.
Whatever the United hierarchy decides, there is no doubt Dean Henderson has the ability to become of the best goalkeepers in world football.