Former Premier League goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has warned David de Gea that Manchester United may choose to let him go if they decide his value is less than what he’s asking for in the ongoing contract negotiations.
It’s no secret that De Gea’s form went downhill last season — perhaps on the back of a forgettable World Cup for the Spaniard — but he’s hasn’t started this term any better. That’s not to say he’s making howler after howler, but before his form dipped he would regularly make extraordinary saves in games and we’re not even seeing as much of that nowadays.
There has long been speculation that the Spaniard could leave Old Trafford, with the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus having been linked.
The most recent mistake made by De Gea came in the 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace earlier this season when Patrick van Aanholt beat him at his near post.
And former Chelsea goalkeeper Schwarzer believes De Gea’s performance levels have dropped in recent times and thinks United may decide that the time is right to find a new no.1.
“They will have to come to a decision at some point on whether his value is the same as what he is asking for,” Schwarzer told Goal. “There’s speculation about him and then there’s the fact that he may still choose to leave.
“Ultimately there comes the point where your history and your past performances only get you so far. It is about now. If you look at his last six months, his average performances haven’t been anywhere near what they have been in the past.
“If you break it down, a lot of goals have come from direct mistakes from De Gea. Probably more than in the entire six or seven-year period before. There is always a balance act as a player. What’s your current value? Your recent performances come into that.
“Can he get to the level he was at before? Part of that is being consistent. Consistency is not a word I would associate with David de Gea over the last six months. If not more.”
There’s a lot of talk about Dean Henderson, who returned to Sheffield United on loan this season, but Schwarzer believes he needs to prove himself in the Premier League before any suggestions are made about him replacing De Gea between the sticks at Old Trafford.
“United have a very good goalkeeper [in De Gea],” Schwarzer continued. “He has been pretty consistent for most of his time at the club. The first 18 months were mixed, then he was exceptional and in the last 12 months he has dropped off a bit. Over a long period he has been very good for them.
“I have seen Dean Henderson play a couple of times, not a lot but a couple of times. He has got a long way to go. He has only had three games in the Premier League. It is a position that De Gea has played in for nearly 10-years. I don’t think it’s a genuine comparison at this stage.
“Let’s see how well Henderson does and evolves throughout the season. Then you can maybe have a better idea if he can play for a club like Manchester United. Playing for Sheffield United in the Championship, no disrespect, is very difficult from playing for Man Utd in the Premier League.”