The demands on a modern goalkeeper expect the man between the sticks to be more than just a shot stopper.
It is here where David de Gea‘s flaws are exposed. The Manchester United number one can produce excellent saves, but the other areas of his game are below average, by the eye-test and statistics.
This almost cost United against Real Betis when his pass straight to the opposition almost led to a goal before half-time, which would have put the visitors 2-1 up.
He was bailed out by the woodwork, and fortunately Manchester United went on to win 4-1.
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Scholes on De Gea
Paul Scholes played alongside David de Gea and was asked about the goalkeeper’s kicking after the game on BT Sport.
He described his choice of pass as ‘strange’, after commenting: “David isn’t the best footballer. Let me put it that way.”
Years ago this is what you would expect of a goalkeeper, for them to be the worst ‘footballer’ in possession by a long way.
But the modern game has seen stoppers like City’s Ederson get involved in playing out from the back, and actually being an asset for their team in the passing game.
De Gea is not an asset in this regard, and he even goes the other way, where he is more of a liability. There was another clearance he made in the first half under no pressure which he skewed right off for a throw-in.
Manchester United have been linked to Brentford’s David Raya via Talksport, who is renowned for his quality with the ball at his feet. He has displaced De Gea in the Spain squad.
De Gea’s contract is up at the end of the season, and Erik ten Hag has a lot to consider. De Gea probably did not do himself any favours last night.