Being number one goalkeeper at Manchester United puts David de Gea under intense pressure.
That is added to when Dean Henderson is putting in top quality performances out on loan and looking like he is the future of the position.
United have a decision to make this summer, which can easily be deferred by another year if a choice is made to loan Henderson out again.
But that can’t continue long-term. And so eventually United will either have to sell Henderson, with a buy-back clause; or sell De Gea.
On the pitch there is very little to choose between the two this season. It cannot be escaped that Henderson has conceded just 25 goals to De Gea’s 30.
The big difference is in their salaries, with De Gea among United’s highest earners.
How much does De Gea earn?
De Gea signed a long-term deal at United last September. The Telegraph report this sees him earn £375,000 per week. This works out at £19.5 million in annual salary.
The Mirror estimate it to be lower, claiming it is £250,000 per week plus add ons in incentives. Either way, it’s so much bigger than his rival.
Henderson signed a new deal last summer too, with The Sun reporting he was looking for £75,000 per week prior to it going through.
This big difference is not reflective of their current on pitch performances, more so De Gea’s reputation and contribution to United over the past decade.
It will split opinion, but United have an opportunity to make a big saving this summer by cashing in on De Gea.
The club could wipe up to £19.5 million annually off a sky high wage bill, and also net a big transfer fee in the process.
It’s unclear what De Gea’s market is, but the club should be demanding a minimum of £60 million for the Spaniard.
Loyalty a factor
Taking this decision would be a business move as much as a footballing one, but United’s need to decrease the wage bill is obvious every time the club’s accounts are published.
De Gea showed his loyalty to the club with his new contract, when he could have left for nothing this summer.
He will potentially expect some loyalty in return, especially if the club qualify for the Champions League.
While his occasional errors are too many, he is still capable of brilliance and his saves at Everton were important too.
United’s decision could be influenced by what happens between now and May.
More errors from De Gea will see the case to cash in grow, while Henderson has to keep up his end by continuing a so far mistake free 2020.
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