Man Utd must pick De Gea over Henderson until Spaniard makes another howler – it's not fair on either man to change now
IT'S only the second league game of the season but Manchester United dare not lose against Brighton this weekend.
The disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace and poor showing in the transfer market thus far has left supporters scratching their heads and asking, 'What do the owners really want to achieve?'
But, following Dean Henderson’s impressive performance against Luton Town in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, fans are also wondering one thing…
Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer stick with the academy graduate or reinstate David De Gea?
It’s one of the only positions on the pitch where Solskjaer has two quality players battling for one position.
It’s how it should be, and United fans will welcome the competition – it’s been a while – and perhaps, in the long term, it’s what De Gea needs.
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But for now, or until he makes another error, the Spaniard should keep the gloves – and here’s why…
For the first time in his United career, De Gea’s under pressure.
For almost two years he’s been riddled with inconsistency but for one reason or another, Solskjaer hasn’t felt comfortable enough to drop him for Sergio Romero.
As it stands though you can’t put 23-year-old Henderson in, albeit after a decent overall showing against Luton.
De Gea, 29, wasn’t at fault for any of Crystal Palace’s three goals on Saturday and was a toenail away from saving a penalty.
Solskjaer’s team have a creaking defence, so it wouldn’t make sense at this point to drop the experienced De Gea and replace him with someone who is still so young and who has only played one senior game for the club.
The United youngster spent last season on loan at Sheffield United and kept an impressive 13 clean sheets in 36 Premier League starts.
In comparison, De Gea also kept 13 clean sheets playing in every minute of United’s 38 Premier League games.
So clearly there’s not a lot between them.
Man Utd is a far different animal to Sheff Utd though, and at the moment the Manchester club suffering through a turbulent period.
It's hardly the environment for Henderson to be thrown into, especially as agoalkeeper, with all eyes fixed on the man between the sticks.
When De Gea joined United in 2011, he arrived as a brittle 20-year-old… but things were different.
He joined a squad packed full of successful international stars, such as Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes.
Three of those made up part of the back-four – and there were plenty of other experienced players to call upon for guidance in the squad too.
Unfortunately, Henderson just doesn’t have that level of quality and experience in front of him to be trusted at the moment.
But his time will come, and should De Gea’s patchy form continue, then he’ll get his chance and could end the season as England’s No1 too.
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