Under-fire Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is thought to have been performing below his previous high standards in training as well as in games, while usual cup goalkeeper Sergio Romero was left miffed by his exclusion from Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been determined to stand by De Gea, who was arguably the best goalkeeper in the world between 2015 and 2018. However, the Spaniard has made a number of high-profile errors in the last two years, and particularly since the season restarted last month.
It is a worrying loss of form that has even brought De Gea’s future at United under a public spotlight, given that the impressive Dean Henderson also belongs to the Old Trafford club.
Solskjaer declared that De Gea is still the best in the world after a lapse against Tottenham in the first game of the restart, but The Times reports that the 29-year-old’s loss of form is now ‘a source of concern’ for the boss and the rest of the squad.
It is said that some United players are ‘worried’ about his mistakes, while it is claimed that even some of his performances during training sessions this season have ‘not been up to scratch’.
Seemingly intent on backing De Gea to get him through this crisis, Solskjaer opted to select the four-time Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year winner for the cup clash with Chelsea at Wembley.
That decision is said to have ‘annoyed’ Romero, who had started all five previous FA Cup games this season. However, it must also be noted that De Gea was brought back in ahead of the Argentine for the semi-final stage of the EFL Cup in January, suggesting it may have been the policy anyway.
There has been tabloid speculation this week that De Gea could be dropped for the remaining two fixtures of the Premier League season against West Ham and Leicester, games which should see United secure Champions League for only the third time in the last seven seasons.
It remains to be seen which goalkeeper Solskjaer will favour when the Europa League restarts next month, with Romero getting the nod in seven of the nine games played so far