Paul Merson defends Man United star David De Gea
Paul Merson has his say on David De Gea's situation at Man United ahead of next season
Paul Merson has leapt to the defence of David De Gea following the goalkeeper’s recent patchy form for Manchester United.
The Spanish shot-stopper has come in for criticism for his recent performances for the Red Devils after he made a number of high-profile mistakes during the course of the season.
De Gea found himself in the spotlight last weekend when he was at fault for at least two of the goals that Manchester United conceded in their 3-1 loss to Chelsea FC in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
The goalkeeper has struggled to produce consistent performances in the Manchester United goal in the past year or so and there have been plenty of questions asked about his long-term future at the club.
De Gea’s situation has been a talking point despite the fact that he signed a new contract with the Red Devils back in September.
However, former Arsenal star Merson believes that the Red Devils would be wise to stick with De Gea because he feels he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “I know David De Gea hasn’t had the best of times and his performance at Wembley last weekend was an absolute howler, but I still think he’s a top, top goalkeeper.
“I’m a big fan of his. He’s made some mistakes and there’s talk of Dean Henderson going back from Sheffield United to Manchester United to replace him.
“But you have to remember, this is Manchester United we are talking about. It’s a different level, one of the biggest clubs in the world and a place where every single mistake is highlighted and picked apart.
“Make a mistake for Sheffield United and what page of the newspaper is that on? Make a mistake at United and it’s on the back page.
“You have to be ready for that and I’m not sure Henderson is. He’s done well at Bramall Lane this season, don’t get me wrong, but I think he needs another 12 months to prove he can do it all again, prove his consistency and then United might have a big decision to make.
“You have to produce week in, week out and I’d like to see Henderson continue doing this.
“Look at keepers like Scott Carson and Ben Foster. At their clubs they might have 25 shots a game to deal with and they’re both great shot stoppers.
“But the difference at the highest level is concentration. David James was one of the best I ever saw and played with, but his concentration levels were atrocious. He’d come out of his area and do something stupid, because he had to think he was involved in the game.
“That’s what can happen at United. You can have long periods with nothing to do and Henderson hasn’t been in that environment yet.”
De Gea may next be in action for Manchester United when the Red Devils return to Europa League action on 5 August when they take on LASK in the return leg of their last-16 clash.