We have been put through the ringer since it became clear that our best goalkeeper since Peter Schmeichel could be about to leave Old Trafford and return to the Spanish capital, but the breakdown of David De Gea’s protracted deal to Real Madrid on deadline day has left Louis Van Gaal with a decision to make. It is fair to say that neither Manchester United nor Real Madrid have come away from the failed transfer with any glory, and while they will inevitably continue to play the blame game and question whose fax machine was at fault, we are now left with an unsettled player who has not secured his dream move.
There is no indication that De Gea has taken the same move as fellow young stars Saido Berahino and Raheem Sterling who refused to play for their respective clubs again in order to secure a big-money move elsewhere. We are fortunate enough, in that respect, to have a young goalkeeper who has not sought the same measures, but with his head being turned by a lucrative move to Real Madrid that failed to materialise, it remains to be seen if Van Gaal believes De Gea is in the right frame of mind to come back into the side.
His undoubted quality could make all the difference in the upcoming game at Old Trafford against Liverpool a fixture where De Gea proved his world-class ability through a string of outstanding saves which, not for the first time last season, saw him win points for his team almost single-handedly. Manchester United are considered favourites to beat our fierce rivals once again at 10/11 with Betway, but will question marks now hanging over Sergio Romero over the poor nature of the goals conceded at Swansea prior to the international break, there will undoubtedly a case for De Gea to return to the fold, but also those who may well feel he is damaged goods.
Case for De Gea’s inclusion
There can be no question that David De Gea is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, irrespective of whether you believe he should not play for Manchester United again after the recent transfer debacle. Unlike other young stars who lost the respect they once had due to the manner in which they tried to engineer a move away, De Gea has never tried to force the issue in public or refused to play for the club again, so the door should be open for a potential return. Van Gaal will undoubtedly sit down with the player upon his return from international duty with Spain where he played a part in consecutive victories against Slovakia and Macedonia, and although we will not be privy to those discussions, you would expect De Gea to start against Liverpool if the manager believes his head is in the right place.
Our best chance of securing three points in the big game against Liverpool will be with our best team on the pitch, and few would argue that De Gea is undoubtedly the best goalkeeper at the club. It is evidently clear that Van Gaal’s relationship with Victor Valdes is pretty much non-existent, and Romero did not deliver when he was asked to stand up and be counted at Swansea. Manchester United’s backline is a much stronger one with De Gea in goal, and although Phil Jones may not be back in time to face Liverpool, the Spaniard developed a strong understanding with the defenders who are likely to feel more comfortable having a commanding presence behind them.
Case for De Gea to be left out
Manchester United were, by all accounts, just minutes from losing De Gea, but although his move to Real Madrid fell through, there is no guarantee that he will come straight back into the team. Fans may rightly feel annoyed that Real Madrid left it so late to try and put through a deal given they should really have done so earlier if they really wanted to sign De Gea, but it has left Van Gaal with a hugely disappointed goalkeeper. Putting him straight back into the team, particularly in a potentially pivotal match so early in the season, could be a recipe for disaster if the young Spaniard is not right mentally. More importantly, no player has the right to come straight back into the team, particularly as Romero has started the campaign as number one. The Argentine keeper may have not covered himself in glory for the manner in which Bafetimbi Gomis’ shot was able to beat him, but dropping him against Liverpool may not be the best idea; providing Romero with the chance to redeem himself in a big game is the least he deserves, even if certain fans believe De Gea should come straight back into the team.