Merson: Ole needs to make ‘sacrifices’ and drop De Gea

Date published: Tuesday 9th February 2021 4:18 - Lewis Oldham

Paul Merson Man Utd

Paul Merson insisted that a big decision has to be made “sooner or later” on David De Gea’s spot at Manchester United.

De Gea joined Man United in 2011 from Atletico Madrid for around £18m. He was criticised a lot when he first joined the club, but after a while, he grew to become the world’s best goalkeeper.

The Spaniard has been named in the PFA Team of the Year five teams, with his latest inclusion coming at the end of the 2017/18 season.


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De Gea’s form has dipped in recent years, however. He is making mistakes more often, with his latest coming in Man United’s 3-3 draw with Everton on Saturday:

Merson said in his Sky Sports column that De Gea is not the “great” goalkeeper he once was:

“It was bad goalkeeping for Calvert-Lewin’s goal. I thought it was just as bad as Everton’s first, in fact, I thought it was worse.

“You’ve got to come out and you’ve got to be brave and take a kick for the team. That’s what wins Premier League titles. You’ve got to put your body on the line.

“It’s not the first time. He did it as well against RB Leipzig. He could’ve come out, smothered it and taken a hit. If you’re going to win league titles, you have to make sacrifices. A decision has to be made sooner or later.

“De Gea has been great and at one stage he was the best goalie in the world. He’s not anymore. Jesse Lingard was one of the first names on the England teamsheet three years ago, now he’s going on loan to West Ham.

“Time moves on. When you’re the manager of Manchester United, you have to make big decisions. If you don’t make them, and they keep coming back to haunt you then something’s wrong.

“You could try to get Dean Henderson into the team while there’s no crowds. That could get him a bit of confidence because you don’t want to put him in maybe next season when all of a sudden there’s 75,000 people there.

“He’d be under severe pressure straightaway. If you put Henderson in the team, are you going to allow him to make four mistakes?”

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