Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists that David de Gea remains a ‘top keeper’ after securing this season’s Premier League Golden Glove award for most clean sheets.
De Gea presided over a 17th league shutout of the season during United’s win over Bournemouth on Saturday, playing a key role in that with a particularly fine save to deny David Brooks.
Alisson (14), Nick Pope and Aaron Ramsdale (both 13) have been the next best Premier League goalkeepers this season but cannot now catch De Gea.
It is the second Golden Glove of De Gea’s career, having kept a league-high 18 clean sheets when United finished runners-up in the final table under Jose Mourinho.
Even, so De Gea has come under criticism for a number of costly mistakes this season. He was culpable for gifting West Ham their goal in a recent United defeat, while the 32-year-old also has a disastrous night as the Red Devils crashed out of the Europa League to Sevilla.
“Football is a game of mistakes and, of course, it was a really bad moment [against West Ham],” Ten Hag commented following the Bournemouth game.
Read the latest Man Utd news here
“But, on the other hand, I also have to stay that we defend with 11 [players] and that’s why we have so many clean sheets.
“In the end, we have a top keeper, who saves great opportunities from the opponents – so killing the game. First half [against Bournemouth], he had a great save, and second half, just before the end.”
The lucrative long-term contract that De Gea signed in 2019 is due to expire next month. 90min has reported how United decided against triggering the 12-month extension option that was part of that deal in favour of negotiating newly reduced terms – the goalkeeper has been earning in excess of £350,000 per week for the past four seasons. 90min understands a new contract has been agreed in principle, with Ten Hag himself keen to keep De Gea.
United hold interest in Brentford stopper David Raya and emerging Porto star Diogo Costa, as well assessing other options like Swiss veteran Yann Sommer and Anderlecht’s Bart Verbruggen. But the club’s transfer priorities remain up front and in midfield, and 90min has revealed that an internal promotion could be another way to provide cover and competition for De Gea.
Matej Kovar has been with United since the age of 18 and has impressed on loan at Sparta Prague this season after previously spending time with Swindon and Burton. Club staff have been handed glowing reports on the 23-year-old and he is now under consideration for a first-team place back in Manchester. Jack Butland may then leave, while Tom Heaton could stay on as third choice.
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss all the latest transfer news. On the agenda: Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Granit Xhaka, Martin Odegaard, Ivan Toney, Ruben Loftus-Cheek & more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!