“Manchester United’s star goalkeeper will not feature in this year’s World Cup” is a huge news that has been buzzing the world of football for weeks now. And the goalie took to the pitch and showed the Spanish boss Luis Enrique what might be missing from his squad that will be competing in Qatar less than three weeks from now.
Back at His Best
De Gea was feeling himself during United’s win against West Ham United last weekend, where the shot shopper was seen to be protecting United’s precious one-goal lead in the dying moments of the game. But his heroic display against the Hammers was only a glimpse of his recent good form; The Spaniard has only conceded two goals from the last seven matches he played for Manchester United, in which one of them was a penalty during the clash against rival Chelsea.
Clearly David de Gea is hitting top form again after going through ups and downs in recent years and having played all 38 league games thrice in the last four seasons and featuring in all of Man United’s games this season, his durability and fitness level are considered second-to-none in the team. Despite all these stats, the Spaniard has not played for his country for two years now, and would not even make into Luis Enrique’s squad to face the world’s best international teams in Qatar. But why?
Not Good Enough to Play Out from the Back?
The Spanish boss has highlighted that “A goalkeeper should start the play and dominate aerially”, and this statement seems only relevant given how modern-day football has evolved, requiring the shot stopper to also be good on his feet and aerial defence. Therefore, he decided to omit the Madrid-born star from the five keepers that he has selected for his initial squad of 55 players for the World Cup.
United’s No. 1 was Spain’s first choice for goalkeeping duties in the last World Cup but has not featured for the Spain squad since 2020. Nonetheless, we can probably recall how much de Gea excels in stopping shots with his feet and has no problem playing the ball out from the back, as seen in Erik ten Hag’s brand of football for the Red Devils and even earned high praise from the ever-demanding Dutch boss himself.
Erik ten Hag has hailed David de Gea “Magnificent” for his fine form and the Dutchman believes that the main obligation of a keeper should be stopping opponents from scoring goals and stated that his keeper has what it takes to develop a passing game and be the catalyst for attacking football that he wishes to implement for the red side of Manchester too.
Would there be any miracle for de Gea to be in Spain’s 2022 FIFA World Cup squad now or did Luis Enrique make a mistake for leaving him out at all?
(Photo Credits: Goal)