There is always pressure at Manchester United. David de Gea will be used to that, but this time is a little different.
For the first time in years a legitimate threat is emerging to his status as United’s number one goalkeeper, Dean Henderson.
Sergio Romero has the ability to be United’s number one, but his attitude is too laid back. He’s perfectly content being number two.
Henderson is different. After another terrific season on loan at Sheffield United, the youngster is talking big and wants De Gea’s spot.
He does not want to return to United to be a back-up, the Evening Standard report, and is even targeting the England number one spot too.
He is supremely confident and a loan move next season might be useful just to avoid United having to make a tough decision this summer.
De Gea has to deliver
We all know how good David de Gea is. He has proved it for the best part of the last decade and has games where he just looks unstoppable.
His performance at The Etihad last month in United’s 1-0 second leg semi-final win was outstanding, and his best in the last 12 months.
It is just a shame the Spaniard has not had more of those, and United need him to step up if we have a chance of winning silverware in the second half of the season.
Henderson’s form and long term aim to displace De Gea puts him under pressure.
This can be a positive for De Gea. He needs to be challenged and perhaps at times has been too comfortable at United.
Can the emerging threat of Henderson inspire De Gea to raise his game and find new levels of consistency?
It would be a big plus if it can, but it could go the other way too. De Gea cannot afford an error strewn second half of the season.
He needs to start showing why he is considered an ‘elite’ goalkeeper and not just a ‘very good’ one.
Statistically, The Sun point out, Henderson has outperformed De Gea this season. The Spaniard’s place is becoming a talking point.
This talk will grow louder if De Gea’s performances take a step back. Is it time United tried something new?
Henderson likewise has to maintain his form. It would be easy for him to take a step back.
Competition is good and decisions can be made in the summer. Between now and May, there is a lot of football still to be played.
If Henderson and De Gea can nail down number one positions with England and Spain, the debate could continue through Euro 2020 too.
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