The Spanish keeper has been Manchester United’s best player in the last couple of years, but the club’s inability to fight for the big trophies may lead to his departure.
After their ignominious defeat to Sevilla in the last 16 of the Champions League, the Red Devils and manager Jose Mourinho have been on the receiving end of widespread criticism.
The excessively cautious and uninspired approach the Portuguese implemented against a relatively easier opposition was bewildering. More than the exit out of Europe’s elite competition though, the possibility of losing De Gea as a consequence of that will be a big headache for United.
De Gea has been consistent in a rather inconsistent Man United. He has always delivered when called upon and if it wasn’t for him matters would’ve been a lot worse for Mourinho.
The Spanish keeper, however, has only won one league title since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer of 2011. His best run in the Champions League was reaching the quarter-finals in 2014. For the world’s best keeper this is underwhelming.
In the summer of 2015, De Gea was close to joining Real Madrid until the famous fax machine debacle curbed the move. Despite a managerial change and significant investment in the transfer market very little has changed at United since then.
Mourinho might point to his Europa League and League Cup trophies as a sign of a job well done, but second rated titles are the least of the club’s ambitions. He might talk about Man City citing ‘Football Heritage’ as the reason for the contrast between the two sides, but that is nothing more than a mere deflection.
It is understandable that a player of De Gea’s caliber is frustrated with the current state of the club. For every step forward there seems to be another step back. Mourinho’s toxic relationship with some of his players, prominently Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw, is also another repelling factor.
Before the Sevilla game, Mourinho told Spanish outlet La Sexta.
“I see him (De Gea) here – I don’t know what the intentions are of Real Madrid but they should think about another player.”
Can the manager say the same after the early Champions League exit?
You can’t fault De Gea for being ambitious and wanting to join the record Champions League holders. The World Cup in Russia offers him another opportunity to showcase his abilities and we all know how much Florentino Perez loves to acquire a star of the World Cup.
The Madrid president is also said to be unhappy with Keylor Navas, who is deemed not good enough for Real Madrid. Everything is pointing towards De Gea joining Madrid in the summer and this might be the right time for him to move on.
Appearing on Sky Sports‘ The Debate show, Craig Bellamy claimed that De Gea’s move to Madrid ‘is only a matter of time’. He might just be right.
Written by Brook Genene
Follow Brook on Twitter @brookge
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