Gary Neville fears trouble is brewing at Manchester United as David de Gea and Dean Henderson face off to be first choice goalkeeper.
Henderson returns to Old Trafford after two sublime seasons on loan at Sheffield United, achieving Premier League promotion and then retaining their top-flight status during a season he was one of the league’s most outstanding keepers.
On the other hand, De Gea’s position looks vulnerable after a succession of high-profile mistakes.
Solskjaer faces his first read goalkeeper dilemma as United manager…
Neville shared his thoughts with Sky Sports, saying: “The idea that Dean Henderson would come into Manchester United and replace David de Gea as No 1 goalkeeper straight away… it won’t happen, I can guarantee it won’t happen.
“This has got ‘problem’ written all over it. The one area of the pitch where you need consistency and stability is your goalkeeper.
“You need to know who your No 1 is, you cannot be flip-flopping. It just does not work; I’ve never seen it work at any club or at international level.
“Where there is a decision to be made about two goalkeepers you have to pick your No 1, go with him and stick with him, even if there is a mistake.
“Once you take David de Gea out of the team and put Henderson in, you may as well forget about De Gea. That’s coming from my experiences at United.
“The period between Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van de Sar — we had Ricardo, Fabien Barthez, Mark Bosnich, Roy Carroll, Tim Howard, Massimo Taibi, many goalkeepers over a five or six-year period and there was inconsistency that certainly didn’t help.”
As far as we’re concerned, De Gea should remain first-choice for league matches with the rest of the cup matches given to Henderson. That way Solskjaer can truly begin to evaluate the situation.
A lot of people are raving about Henderson’s performances last season and while they were good it’s going to be a huge step up playing at Old Trafford every week as opposed to Bramall Lane.
A decision would have to be made for Champions League that should go to whoever is leading us out for Premier League games.
De Gea has a lot of experience at club and international level, so Henderson should try act as a sponge and learn everything he can from the Spaniard. It will only benefit his career.
If I was to give my honest opinion, I would say it will be either De Gea’s last season at United or Henderson will be one leaving next summer.
If it’s Henderson, De Gea will leave and it could be very difficult to shift a goalkeeper on his wages (highest paid keeper in the world) along with a damaged reputation? Obviously, I hope it never turns out like this.
United start their Premier League next week at home to Crystal Palace. They face Aston Villa today in a pre-season friendly.