Goalkeeper David de Gea returned to Manchester this week for the first time since he was released by the club in the summer after spending 12 years in United’s number one position.
David De Gea’s return to Manchester could not have been better timed, with Andre Onana continuing to struggle as his successor.
De Gea impressed his 15.6 million Instagram followers by posting a story from United Women’s Champions League qualifier against Paris Saint-Germain at the Leigh Sports Village. The former Spain No. 1 showed his support for the team on Instagram, writing: “Let’s go!!!” Via a video clip of the team warming up for the match.
Former United goalkeeper De Gea, who spent 12 years as the club’s goalkeeper, has returned to the UK to resolve some issues with the house he and his family own in the posh Cheshire suburb of Hill. De Gea’s homecoming has left some United fans eager to have him back in their squad, with some even suggesting the club should re-sign him, given Onana’s failure to show he is an upgrade on his predecessor.
For De Gea’s part, the 32-year-old is said to be happy to get some playing time, to spend with his family, while he waits for the right offer. De Gea has been staying at his family home in Madrid since leaving United, where he spends time with his wife, Edurne Garcia – whom he married in Minorca last summer – and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Yanai.
The former Spaniard has turned down a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia, believing he still has something to offer at the highest level in Europe. However, 95 days after announcing his departure from United, and after 545 appearances and 190 clean sheets – both club records for a goalkeeper – De Gea has yet to find a new club.
De Gea left United because Erik Ten Hag wanted a goalkeeper who could play out from the back with his feet, something the Spaniard does not have the skills to do, despite his tremendous shot stopping ability, reflexes and agility. So De Gea went on his way and in came Onana, a £47m signing, who we shouldn’t forget had joined Inter Milan as a free agent from Ajax a year earlier, where Ten Hag was his boss.
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Why Ten Hag did not insist that Onana, 27, come with him as a free agent when he arrived at United, given that he had obvious concerns about De Gea, is known only to the Dutchman. But De Gea played out the final year of his contract, suffering the kind of costly mistakes now plagued by Onana, who was brought in to replace the club legend.
Whatever concerns Ten Hag and United fans may have about De Gea, Onana’s teething problems have certainly upheld the old adage of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’. De Gea became something of a liability in his final season, with glaring individual errors against Brentford, Sevilla and West Ham, finally convincing Ten Hag that he needed a new man in the ranks.
United’s adidas home shirt is made up of the same color as the city’s signature red rose and features a black collar. The collar also features a touch of red and white, giving it a sleek and modern look.
But while Ten Hag uses the international break to reflect on the issues he must solve at United to get the season back on track, Onana will be at the forefront of his thoughts. Ten Hag got rid of De Gea because he couldn’t use his feet, now he has one in Onana who, for the moment at least, can’t use his hands.
This irony will not be lost on De Gea as he contemplates his next career move.
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