A report in The Telegraph this week claimed David de Gea is reluctant to extend his contract at Manchester United.
It’s a worst case scenario, with our best and most consistent player claimed to be considering an exit. It would be a big blow for the team.
Yet while outsiders would decry a De Gea exit as a critical blow we may not recover from, the opposite is true.
De Gea seems irreplaceable, but United are better prepared for his exit than many realise.
Depth, depth, and more depth
Sergio Romero is United’s number two, an Argentina international. As a short term option, he could step in.
It’s behind Romero though where United’s strength in depth really shines.
Joel Pereira and Dean Henderson both have the ability to be future United number ones.
Pereira is currently out on loan in Portugal, where he is a regular starter for 10th placed side Vitoria Setubal.
He has been outstanding for United’s under-23s and is a future Portugal international. If anything, De Gea’s presence is stunting his progress.
Dean Henderson is on loan at Sheffield United in the Championship. He has recently been starring for England’s under-21 side.
He was part of the England under-20 squad which won the World Cup in 2017.
Both players have the ability to be outstanding goalkeepers and a battle between the two would be fascinating.
If De Gea leaves then United could go and spend millions on a replacement, but really they shouldn’t have to.
The ideal situation is that the Spaniard stays and signs a new deal. But in the event he goes, there doesn’t have to be a collective meltdown.