Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Insists United Will Stick With Struggling David de Gea

Tom Gott
David de Gea had another game to forget against Chelsea
David de Gea had another game to forget against Chelsea / Pool/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has once again leapt to the defence of goalkeeper David de Gea, who endured another horror showing in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

The Spaniard was at fault for Chelsea's first two goals, allowing strikes from Olivier Giroud and Mason Mount to find their way through his body, and there have even been suggestions from disgruntled fans that his positioning did not help him prevent Harry Maguire's own goal later in the game.

For De Gea, this is becoming somewhat of a common theme. With Dean Henderson breathing down the Spaniard's neck, Solskjaer has already defended De Gea in the aftermath of huge errors against Watford and Tottenham, and he took the same stance after Sunday's defeat.

"[David] knows he should save that one 100 times out of 100 but that's football for you," said Solskjaer (via BBC Sport). "It is done. Move on. I know he is a mentally strong person and goalkeeper.

"Of course [De Gea will remain the starter]. We have been unbeaten for 19 games and both Sergio [Romero] and David have played really well in that run.

Solskjaer has always publicly supported De Gea
Solskjaer has always publicly supported De Gea / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

"We have kept clean sheets, and on Thursday night, he made some great saves against Crystal Palace. I see where you're coming from and everyone is going to make headlines on David, but he knows he should have saved that one.

"I can't speak for his confidence but he is mentally very strong. Everyone has to perform and has a chance to stake a claim every time they play. It is hard for a keeper to make amends, apart from David making two or three fantastic saves."

Despite Solskjaer's determination to defend De Gea, there's no denying that he has a major decision to make this summer. As noted by The Athletic's Laurie Whitwell, Henderson, who has excelled out on loan with Sheffield United, believes he is ready to step into the starting lineup and will likely be unimpressed with the idea of sitting on the Old Trafford bench.

Henderson hopes to compete for a starting spot at Old Trafford
Henderson hopes to compete for a starting spot at Old Trafford / Pool/Getty Images

United have offered Henderson a new contract to try and reward him for his emergence as a top-flight calibre goalkeeper, but the Englishman is thought to be reluctant to commit to a side who cannot guarantee him a starting spot.

The Blades are keen to bring Henderson back for another year, while there have also been rumours of a permanent switch to Chelsea, and Solskjaer will not want to risk losing a player who he has always insisted will be the future of United.

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