I remember during my days of playing football (long gone I might add) playing in goal. Playing in goal was my best position, as I was willing to throw myself around on any surface, grass, gravel, Astroturf and even a beach at one point. It earned me the nickname Supernuge.
One thing that always stuck with me from being a goalkeeper was that you always get the blame when your team concede a goal. Your errors were more costly than those of a striker, a midfielder or even a defender.
People quickly forget your brilliance or the fact you have prevented numerous goals. They just remember the errors you make. That brings me to Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.
De Gea off form in recent weeks
For me, David de Gea is one of, if not the best goalkeeper, in the world. Unlike many modern goalkeepers, he seems to have all the attributes to be world-class. In the last few years, he has been superb in-between the sticks for United. At times, he has single-handedly defied teams behind a defence shaky than a ladder on uneven ground.
However, this season De Gea has managed just seven clean sheets in the Premier League this season. That stat is crazy for a team attempting to challenge for the top-four in the English top-flight.
Judging by the Red Devils poor campaign it is not a surprise that De Gea has conceded so many goals. I need to defend my fellow goalkeeper’s union member here, as not all of those goals were his fault obviously.
However, De Gea has made an uncharacteristic high number of mistakes in recent games that have cost his team dearly. This suggests that something is wrong with the Spaniard, who has set extraordinarily high standards for himself.
Speculation over a move
De Gea has been the subject of speculation over his future for the past few seasons. A failed move to Real Madrid was the closest he came to leaving the club from Manchester. Only since Los Blancos signed Thibaut Courtois last summer has the speculation over a move to the Spanish capital died down.
However, now there is talk of PSG targeting the goalkeeper for a big-money move in the summer. With the current status of Manchester United, the Spaniard would be forgiven for thinking about leaving the club.
Despite his recent errors, David de Gea is still one of the finest goalkeepers in the world game. I doubt many fans at any club would turn their noses up at signing the Spaniard.
United struggling for a top-four
Manchester United are struggling to finish in the Champions League spots this season. The Red Devils are currently odds of 10/1 to finish in the top-four despite two supposedly comfortable fixtures remaining.
It is not David de Gea’s fault that the Red Devils are not in the Champions League spots. He may have made some errors of late, but I can guarantee his saves have won them more points than his errors have cost.
In reality, maybe De Gea has just unwittingly dropped his standards to those of his underperforming teammates at United. The Spaniard does not come across as the sort of guy who would down tools deliberately. Maybe his subconscious has just given up.
One thing is for sure, David de Gea will overcome his current blip in form and return to his formidable best in the near future. Whether that is at Manchester United or not may or may not be in question.
What has happened to David de Gea?
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