Rio Ferdinand has backed David De Gea to regain his best form at Manchester United, but believes the Spaniard must be warned he faces competition for a starting berth.
De Gea was maligned towards the end of he 2019/20 campaign for a series of inexplicable errors, most notably in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.
What was most worrying about the howler he made for Mason Mount’s goal at Wembley was that it was not simply an aberration.
De Gea has been making errors consistently for quite some time now and United’s number one was clearly struggling for confidence at the end of the season.
Despite De Gea’s considerable drop in performance levels, Ferdinand has warned supporters not to write the 29-year-old off and believes he has the fortitude to return to his best.
“De Gea has the ability to get back to where he was,” Ferdinand told TeamTalk.
“He’s shown over the years that he is a class act. He can now have a break for a few weeks and come back with his focus renewed.
“He has the mentality to come back and reach his levels again. We’ve seen time and again how good he can be. I think he can still be a big player for United, but he has a point to prove again now. He has had tough times before and has come back.
“He’s a great goalkeeper and over the years he has been fantastic for United. He was player of the year four out of six years or whatever it was, but if you are not pouring the goods over an extended period of time you have to be told and there has to be someone waiting in the wings to come in.”
Ferdinand is right that Solskjaer must warn De Gea that he is not indispensable at United.
The United boss has stuck by his number one staunchly during his tenure, with deputy Sergio Romero always overlooked in big games regardless of the Spaniard’s form.
But the return of Dean Henderson, who has excelled at Sheffield United for two seasons on loan, could provide the necessary competition De Gea needs.
Henderson wont settle for a role as understudy at Old Trafford next season; the 23-year-old will be determined to fight for the number one spot if he remains at United.