Erik ten Hag has spoken about David de Gea ahead of Manchester United’s return to Premier League action against Southampton.
Ten Hag recorded his press conference for Sunday’s game at Old Trafford last night (Thursday) after the 4-1 win over Real Betis.
De Gea’s kicking was nervous despite the victory, especially in the first half when he frequently failed to pick out players in a red shirt.
The Spaniard’s ability to play out from the back is the biggest doubt over his suitability for Ten Hag’s philosophy and the Dutchman said he ‘can’t ignore’ it.
Erik ten Hag on David de Gea distribution in Manchester United 4-1 Betis
When asked a question about de Gea’s kicking, Ten Hag said: “From today, I can’t ignore it, but I think we have seen many games he did really well.
“I don’t know why, or [what] the reason today was. There was a lot of wind, it’s a different ball, he probably had some problems with that. But I know he can deal with it and he will do Sunday better.”
When asked if de Gea’s distribution is a lingering concern, he replied: “We work on that; David is working on that. But I think we have seen, in the season, that he is improving, and he will keep improving.
“I am sure.”
De Gea has improved at playing out from the back this season but he is still not at the level that Ten Hag would ideally want from his number one.
The Telegraph report that if money was no object, Ten Hag would want a new goalkeeper through the door in the summer.
But with the signing of another striker, midfielder and full-back on the agenda, replacing de Gea may not be feasible within the budget.
That is especially the case because his contract is expiring at the end of the season, so if United moved him on in the summer, we would not get a transfer fee.
De Gea’s shot-stopping often bails United out, but his kicking can play us into trouble, and Ten Hag may decide it makes most sense to extend his contract and focus the summer transfer business elsewhere.