Gary Neville has given his verdict on whether Dean Henderson should become Manchester United’s number one next season.
The Spaniard was criticized last weekend and earlier this week after his mistake allowed Steven Bergwijn to open the scoring for Tottenham Hotspur on United’s return to Premier League action.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended De Gea this week, alleging that the Spaniard remains the world’s number one goalkeeper, but Neville disagrees.
“Ederson and Alisson are better goalkeepers and have been for the past 18 months / two years, but I hope Ole will defend his player, of course,” said Neville. Sky Sports before United’s victory against Sheffield United on Wednesday .
“David de Gea, for two or three years, I think he was the best goalkeeper in the world, or certainly the best in the Premier League.
“He won the Player of the Year here, and in a very difficult period for United, after Sir Alex Ferguson, he was a brilliant light.
“The only player you could have said would enter any other Premier League team, or even the world. But since that 2018 World Cup, he has had a really difficult time.
“What I don’t believe is the idea that Dean Henderson of Sheffield United, on loan from Manchester United, can enter that goal against the Stretford End and deal with the demands of being a goalkeeper for Manchester United.
“You need a special character to be able to play in that objective. What I think De Gea has done over a four or five year period, before these last 18 months, is accumulate a lot of credit where she really deserves a break and the opportunity to correct and get back to where she should be.
“It shows before it can be world class. Right now, she’s going through a really tough patch. When a goalkeeper or any player goes through a difficult patch, mentally, it is really difficult, and you are challenged.
“He is in one of the largest soccer clubs in the world and the scrutiny constantly monitors him. There is no escape in this club. That’s why I would be a little cautious with Dean Henderson.
“That is an old and lonely place to make a mistake if you are a Manchester United goalkeeper. Compared to Sheffield United, it is very different to make a mistake there. ”
Before continuing: “To make that decision, which is a great decision, to say that Dean Henderson returns to Old Trafford, he is number one; You’re essentially dismissing David de Gea from what he’s done for the club for the past seven or eight years. I would simply urge caution in this regard at this time.
“I’ve seen him before with players during my time: Peter Schmeichel at the beginning and Edwin van der Sar at the end.
“In between that, there were real challenges for goalkeepers. Sometimes we had young goalkeepers, who were talented, but they found it very difficult to cope with the scrutiny, the levels of concentration that are required. “
Sky expert Graeme Souness said he believes “time is running” at De Gea and Henderson should return to Old Trafford this summer to fight the Spaniard to become United’s number one next season.
He said: “De Gea was one of the best goalkeepers for four years? He fought when he went there the first time. He won the Player of the Year there, which is a big problem at Manchester United, because there are some super players there.
“How long do you wait if you’re a manager? Big clubs can’t wait forever. This is the second season that has been iffy. We’ve had a game back and we’re talking about it again because of a dubious goal at Espuelas.
“What I would do is get Henderson back, I think the boy has personality. Why put an age on him, if he’s good enough? He’s ready. Get him back. It’s not a case of him being black and white.” come back and be number one forever ‘
“He comes back and puts David de Gea under pressure, and if they fight each other, if you’re making the best of both of them, you’re doing your job. Right now, we’re talking about David De Gea and I think the clock is ticking for him , for real.