David De Gea has been a great servant for Manchester United. Carrying United with some outstanding performances and at points considered the best Goalkeeper (GK) in the world. De Gea’s importance was recognised by both fans and players alike with several club awards.
However, in the recent past he has been fallible and made mistakes which have led to goals.
Since De Gea joined United in 2010 he has had 13 errors which have led to goals in over 300 PL appearances. The concern is 7 of these have been in the last 2 seasons. It would be unfair to compare De Gea to his predecessor for example Van der Sar only had 5 errors in a similar career span. However, the role of a GK has changed making saves isn’t enough with the arrivals of Ederson and Allison GKs are trying to be quarter backs.
This season De Gea is second in the mistakes list and 11th in the saves made list. This, however, can be seen positively and a reflection on the impact of both Maguire and Wan-Bissaka. Not for the GK though as in theory less shots should mean less mistakes. Last season he finished third one behind the top GKs with the most mistakes. Are we seeing the decline of a great United legend?
The pressure on De Gea has come for two reasons a couple of seasons ago United made him the highest paid GK in the world. This isn’t necessarily De Gea’s fault BUT adds pressure. Furthermore the arrival of Dean Henderson who has been outstanding for Sheffield United. When comparing stats this season Henderson is by far and away better then De Gea. More clean sheets, less mistakes, commanding the box with more catches and punching all in fewer games. Like his club Henderson has been extremely impressive.
As United fans we often forget we have arguably the best number 2 in the world in Sergio Romero. Whenever he is called upon, he has been outstanding. However, he has always been in the shadow of first De Gea and now probably Henderson. Yet it would be disrespectful to not appreciate him and consider him in this conversation.
Despite highlighting De Gea’s mistakes you can’t forget his contribution to United. In a period of darkness he has been our one shining light and consistently world class. IF United do decide it’s time for him to move on they should handle this with dignity as this is what he deserves. The ideal scenario De Gea gains his old form and Henderson has 1 more season at Sheffield to develop and return as the ready-made replacement. Henderson is no doubt the future but how quick will it happen?