This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As quoted by Sky Sports, former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has revealed David de Gea isn’t irreplaceable at Old Trafford.
De Gea has been one of the Premier League’s leading goalkeepers since his move from Atletico Madrid, being named into the PFA Team of the Year on numerous occasions.
However, following a rather underwhelming campaign by his own standards last season, in which he made four errors directly leading to goals, Van der Sar has insisted the Spaniard could be replaced.
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He said: “The decision needs to come at a certain point. It takes a long time now, so it’s a case of ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but I’m not a director of United. Other goalkeepers can also fill the gap. There are a few Premier League goalkeepers playing at the club who can also take the step up. I was 34 when I went to United. So there are lots of opportunities there.”
Reports in recent weeks have suggested the Spain international is closing in on signing a new deal at Old Trafford. The supposed new deal would make De Gea one of the highest-paid goalkeepers in the world, and that in itself surely brings a sense of expectation when it comes to what he produces on the pitch.
Despite his previous years of standing at the top of the goalkeeping mountain, the 28-year-old really did let his standards slip last season. Even this campaign, his failure to stop what looked like a routine near-post effort from Patrick van Aanholt consigned United to a shock home defeat to Crystal Palace.
As Van der Sar’s own move from Fulham to United suggests, there are shot-stoppers around the league who could potentially come in and become the Red Devils’ number one. So, whether a new contract is signed or not, De Gea will really have to up his game to ensure he remains worthy of being the main man between the sticks.