David de Gea Vs Dean Henderson – Who should start in goal for Man Utd next season


After another error-strewn performance by Spain and Man United number one, Ligalive looks at whether De Gea should retain his number 1 spot or hand it over to Dean Henderson next season.

David De Gea delivered another woeful performance for Manchester United as the Red Devils succumbed to a toothless 3-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday evening.

The Spaniard was partly at fault for Chelsea’s opener as an Olivier Giroud shot slipped through his hands and into the back of the net. He was entirely at fault for the 2nd goal, though, as De Gea fumbled a weak Mason Mount attempt to gift the Blues a priceless two-goal lead just minutes into the 2nd half.

The worry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is that such performances have become the norm for the Spaniard, with the 29-year-old making more errors this season than any goalkeeper from any side in the top half of the Premier League table.

Provided his performances don’t improve in the next two games, the Spain international one might well end up costing his side a berth in next season’s Champions League. Little wonder, then, that some Man United fans have called for his replacement with Dean Henderson next season.

David de Gea Vs Dean Henderson – Who should start in goal for Man Utd next season
The Manchester United manager has an important decision to make (Image Copyright: imago images / PA Images xAndyxRain/NMCxPoolx 54654266)

De Gea has let in more goals than Henderson despite facing fewer shots

David de Gea Vs Dean Henderson – Who should start in goal for Man Utd next season
(Image Copyright: imago images / PA Images xMikexEgertonx 54634890)

With Solskjaer having a decision on whether to stick with De Gea or twist to Henderson next season, we directly compare the Spaniard vs his English counterpart.

Start with the shots being faced. Spanish newspaper AS reports [quoting Opta stats] that despite facing fewer shots (364) than those faced by Henderson (387), De Gea has conceded more goals (35) than the Sheffield United number one (29).

Everything from there goes pretty much downhill for the Spaniard. He has made fewer saves (91 v 95), kept 1 less clean sheet (11 vs 12), and has a save percentage that is no less than four percentage points lower than that of the Man Utd loanee (72.2 vs 76.2).

The Spaniard is relatively more vulnerable from shots taken by opposition players from outside the box too. Four of his opponents have been able to get the better of the former Atletico Madrid striker from shots taken from outside United’s final third, compared to only 2 of Henderson’s opponents.

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De Gea has made more errors too

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De Gea is expected to be fit for this game (Image Copyright: imago images / PA Images xAndyxRain / NMCxPoolx 54653483)

Given the way the facts mentioned above point toward, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that De Gea has performed poorly on the error count as well.

Harry Maguire might not be doing enough to justify his £85m valuation but he isn’t being helped by a goalkeeper with slippery hands, as the Spaniard’s errors have led to the opposition players taking four pot-shots at the Man United goal this season.

Dean Henderson is by no means Alisson Becker. Still, the 23-year-old, despite playing for a team that started the campaign with aspirations of avoiding the drop, has made only 1 error that allowed the opposition players to test him from a distance.

Similar is the case with error leading to goals matric. De Gea’s errors have added three goals to the goals-against column of Man Utd, compared with only a single addition to the Blades’ column due to the mistakes committed by the Man United loanee.

All these stats, if taken in isolation, point to a scenario in which it should be a no-brainer for Solskjaer to replace his current number one with Henderson starting next season. Add to the equation the fact that the Spaniard is earning £350,000 a week at Old Trafford, however, and the decision becomes muddy.

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