According to a report published in the Spanish daily AS, the 31-year-old hasn’t made Luis Enrique’s preliminary list of 55 players who are in contention to make the eventual 26-man squad for the World Cup.
With de Gea having had his last start all the way back in October of 2020 in a loss to Ukraine, it may not come as the biggest surprise to many that he hasn’t made the grade for la Roja.
However, what does come as a surprise is the fact that all the five shot-stoppers in the provisional list except Unai Simón have little to no experience of playing in international tournaments.
These choices could therefore mean the Spain Head Coach has gone for ball-playing ability and form over experience.
Even so, except for the horror showing at Brentford, de Gea hasn’t done too poorly this season.
He has kept 4 clean sheets in 11 appearances this term for United.
In fact, Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has also made the 5-man goalkeeping contingent has had almost half the amount of appearances that de Gea has this season.
What’s notable about the makeup of the shot-stopping unit for Spain is the clear idea to have the ability to play out from the back in each player between the sticks, with United’s aforementioned disaster at Brentford outlining de Gea’s deficiencies in this regard.
Unai Simón, along with Robert Sánchez of Brighton and Hove Albion, is considered to be two of the best at doing so.
David Raya, possibly third in the hierarchy, has come leaps and bounds in starting phases of play for Brentford as well.
Even backup choices Kepa and Getafe’s David Soria are considered better with their feet, with de Gea categorically an older ilk of goalkeeping mainstays.
One might also argue that de Gea’s poor record in penalty shootouts doesn’t help him either, something that can play a major role in tournament football.
Given that his last appearance in the Spain squad came almost a year back and that he is no higher than 6th in the pecking order, one can only imagine this to be the final nail in the coffin of de Gea’s Spain career unless something calamitous was to happen to the shot-stopping department of Enrique’s squad.
The full list of the 55 players in the provisional squad is said to have been kept private by the Real Federación Española de Fútbol, as per the report by AS.
FIFA will publish the 26-man squads for each of the 32 nations going to Qatar latest by the 14th of November.