Of the many Manchester United players who deserve to be dropped, David de Gea probably does not figure on the list.

De Gea has been a consistent performer for United this season, popping up with crucial stops including a rare penalty save.

But with United crushed 5-0 at home to Liverpool last weekend, rule absolutely nothing out.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to shake up his team selection, and that could even extend to his goalkeeper.

Here is a look at three reasons United could turn to Dean Henderson in goal this weekend, who starred in last season’s win at Tottenham…


Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Defensive organisation

United have been terrible defensively this season, keeping only one clean sheet in all competitions. In the last two league matches the side have conceded 11 goals.

It is very possible the defence benefits from having Henderson behind them, who is more vocal than De Gea.

Henderson’s communication with his backline could benefit out of form captain Harry Maguire.

Last season United won 9 of 12 league games Henderson started, compared to just 12 of the 26 De Gea was selected for.

The defence is United’s biggest problem and if the goalkeeper is a factor in helping the backline improve, we could see a change.

Quicker off his line

One of the standout factors in Henderson’s performance against Tottenham last season was how effective he was in a sweeper-keeper role.

Henderson is quick off his line, much more so than De Gea, who is notoriously slow to leave his six-yard box.

In coming out quicker, Henderson can take pressure off his defence, who right now need all the help they can get.

Manchester United v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Third Round
(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Solskjaer’s plan all along?

A hip injury and Covid denied a true competition between De Gea and Henderson this summer. The Spaniard won the spot by default.

Was Solskjaer’s plan all along to have Henderson as the number one this season, after easing him in gradually in 2020/21?

Now with his job on the line, Solskjaer has a chance to pick the team he wants rather than the side he feels he has to.

Henderson is fit again and ready to play. Yes, Solskjaer would upset De Gea by dropping him on the back of a big loss and generally strong form, but the manager is also at the point where he cannot worry about egos, and just has to select the side he thinks will keep him in a job.

The manager won’t want to be sacked with any regrets, and if he selects Henderson and United lose, then at least he will have gone out picking the team he truly wanted.

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