Manchester United have been linked with a flourishing titan, with one pundit urging the club to swoop and replace one established star at the Theatre of Dreams.
Former Premier League striker Jay Bothroyd recently told Sky Sports News (via The Express) that United should launch an assault on Aston Villa for their World Cup-winning shot-stopper Emiliano Martinez.
Speaking of De Gea, Bothroyd said: “He is a top keeper, he had a good season last year. But he’s on a lot of money, he’s one of the highest-paid players in the Premier League.
“I think he’s on about £350,000 a week, that’s a lot for a goalkeeper. Now, for example, if I was Man United, I’d be looking at other options, like you would.
“You would have to look around, Martinez being one of them. Yes he’s at Aston Villa but that could potentially be an option for them.”
De Gea has been a stalwart for United, and while the four-time club Player of the Year will go down as one of the outfit’s greatest goalkeepers, it is time for change following the arrival of Erik ten Hag at the helm in the summer, and that starts from the bedrock.
On a reported £375,000 a week, the Spaniard occupies a sizable chunk of the Red Devils’ resources regarding player pay, and his departure would signify a shifting of the pillars that support the weight of this prestigious club.
Not to mention his wayward displays that have crept into greater frequency over the past several years, furthering the claim that United could find better value for less money should they move for someone of Martinez’s ilk.
In the Premier League this term, Martinez is better than his positional peer across a number of metrics, recording an average rating of 6.91 to De Gea’s 6.79, a 69% save percentage to the United ace’s 66%, conceding goals at a rate of 1.2 per match to 1.4, and saving one penalty to his rival’s zero.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Argentine would not come cheap with the stopper valued at £45m-valued having signed a new contract with Villa at the start of the year, stemming until 2027, and seeing his stock sky-rocket following his monumental triumph in Qatar – the hero in two penalty shootouts.
Hailed as “unbelievable” and “one of the best goalkeepers in the world” by Villa teammate Matty Cash, Martinez would represent a major statement of intent from Ten Hag, who will be seeking to rewrite the blueprint at Old Trafford after so many years of languishing below the high standards.
It might be time to cast the “woeful” – as once branded by Dominic Booth – De Gea aside, and usher in a new colossus between the sticks to cement the foundations of the new era at Man United.