Courtois denies dig at De Gea in Twitter debate over goalkeeper skills

Spain manager Luis Enrique sparked more debate over Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea at the weekend when he spoke out over his international selections.

De Gea was once again left out of Spain’s squad, with Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez and David Raya all preferred.

Enrique was quoted by Goal.com: ” A goalkeeper should start the play and generate the first superiority, they must dominate the aerial play.

“I need a goalkeeper that transmits peace and calmness to me – and that doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, errors are part of football. But what they generate I like a lot.”

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

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De Gea debate intensifies

The goalkeeping aspects raised by Enrique are areas where De Gea struggles. The United stopper did not even rank inside the top 20 in the Premier League this season for crosses claimed, some feat for a starting goalkeeper.

The statistics put up by Brighton’s Robert Sanchez show a more well-rounded goalkeeper, superior in this area, as well as passing.

De Gea won United’s player’s player of the year award this season, but did concede 58 league goals – for which his defence must also take huge responsibility.

Last night Spain started Unai Simon against Czech Republic, who conceded twice in a 2-2 draw with Czech Republic, and did not make a single save. In this regard his 96% pass accuracy counted for little.

There are two sides to the De Gea argument, and new manager Erik ten Hag may simply kick it down the line this summer, to another year, with other areas of the team arguably far more pressing.

Courtois steps in

The debate over De Gea continued on social media after Luis Enrique’s comments. And bizarrely, it saw Real Madrid’s Champions League winning goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois dragged into the row.

Courtois responded to a tweet from YouTuber Mark Goldridge, who had suggested he also was not active off his line to claim crosses. The Belgium international disputed this suggestion.

Courtois sent a further tweet to say his tweet was made merely to defend his own reputation, rather than intended as any flex of superiority over United goalkeeper David de Gea, a former Premier League rival who he knows well.

He said he would ‘never talk bad’ about another professional, and did not mean for his initial message to be twisted this way.

Quite why Courtois even bothered to engage in this debate is bizarre, but when you are a Champions League winner, you can do what you like.

Especially when his performance ensured Liverpool failed to win the trophy this past season.

David de Gea meanwhile, will have to settle for Europa League football in 2022/23.

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