David de Gea would have hoped the international break would give him a chance to get back up to speed ahead of a club battle with Dean Henderson.
For Manchester United, Henderson has leapfrogged De Gea and played the last six games, after the Spaniard returned to his homeland for the birth of his child.
De Gea, 30, was available for United’s last two matches, but sat on the bench for both.
Likewise, De Gea’s last two international games have both been spent on Spain’s bench.
23-year-old Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon has been Spain’s starter for their recent World Cup qualifiers with Greece and Georgia.
De Gea has been left on the bench for both. That doesn’t help him in the short-term, from a United perspective, and it will make him anxious ahead of Euro 2021.
The good news from De Gea’s perspective was that Simon failed to keep clean sheets in both matches, a 1-1 draw with Greece and a last ditch 2-1 win over Georgia.
Spain face Kosovo on Wednesday night and De Gea will hope to get the nod. But based on the selection the last two games, it’s doubtful that will happen.
De Gea has 434 club appearances for Manchester United, but his career is coming to a crossroads this summer amid Dean Henderson’s emergence.
If he spends Euro 2021 sat on the bench, then you have to consider that he will explore a return to Spain, regardless of what happens at United.
De Gea will be targeting the 2022 World Cup. If he can move back to one of Spain’s top clubs, then he will put himself back in the spotlight and help his chances.
Likewise, so would seeing off Henderson’s challenge, if he chooses to stay at United and successfully fight for his spot.
The 2022 World Cup is in the background. He won’t be in the mood to give up on Euro 2021 yet.
There is so much at stake for him over the next few weeks, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has some big decisions to make which have wide ranging implications for De Gea’s future.
Henderson has not started either England games, for his part. So he has gained no extra advantage. Both players will return to United later this week with a clean slate.
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