Manchester United are back on track in the Europa League after opening their account in the competition with a win against Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.
United’s league form has also seen a mini-revival with the team currently enjoying a four-match winning streak which includes victories against arch-rivals Liverpool and Arsenal.
DDG struggling under ETH
However, one player who is yet to get to grips with the manager’s methods is David de Gea. The Spaniard was at fault for United’s 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Brentford earlier in the season.
Former Leeds United goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has indicated that the Spaniard’s United career may have run its course and the 20-time English champions are better served looking for an elite alternative.
— mufcmpb (@mufcMPB) September 16, 2022
“Where are we with De Gea? He makes unbelievable saves but he does make the odd error now,” Kenny told Football Insider. “He has cost them this season. Brentford, just off the top of my head. For me, has his course run at Man United?”
Since then, the team has kept three clean sheets in six games but that has largely been due to the exceptional cover provided by both centre-backs Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
The Spanish international’s shot-stopping ability remains as strong as ever but his ability with the ball at his feet has not helped United build attacks from the back. His refusal to leave the line has exacerbated matters even further.
The Dutchman is known for playing out from the back and he expects his goalkeeper to have good distribution in terms of both short and long passing. De Gea is not exactly known for either.
Since the Liverpool game, the United No 1 has been kicking long aimlessly, which has allowed the opposition to recycle possession.
Could DDG be on his way out?
Ten Hag might be content with this aspect for now but there are doubts whether he will allow this to continue going forward.
What has complicated matters is the fact that the former Atletico Madrid’s contract is set to expire next year but the Red Devils are expected to trigger the additional one-year option to avoid losing the player on a free.
The 31-year-old has spoken of seeing out his career at Old Trafford but if he cannot adjust to Ten Hag’s methods, that might not be the case in the end.
His humongous wages have not helped matters either. He is reportedly the highest earner at the club.
“He has been there for nearly 10 years, that’s a long time. Does he need a fresh challenge? Apparently, he is on a lot of money as well.
“It’s a tough one. Do they have to go out and spend some money on a replacement or do they keep him? For me, he has recently been off it,” the former Republic of Ireland international added.
There have been reports suggesting that a long-term goalkeeper might be brought in next summer after careful consideration of what De Gea brings to the table for the rest of the season.