Former Manchester United goalkeeper Kevin Pilkington says that David de Gea is the ‘man with the shirt’ and as such should remain United’s number one choice.
The topic of goalkeeper has been a thorny one at Old Trafford with the emergence of Dean Henderson and the perceived decline of De Gea. Henderson finished last season as first choice, and even though De Gea was recalled for the Europa League final, he was heavily criticised after failing to save a penalty in the shootout.
However, due to Henderson catching COVID, De Gea has started this season as first choice, and has performed admirably, with a particularly exceptional display at Wolves a couple of weeks ago.
And Pilkington, who was part of the class of ’92 and served as understudy to Peter Schmeichel, believes that this momentum is key when it comes to who should get the shirt.
“It’s a tough one. David’s been an unbelievable servant and is right up there with the best when he’s performing,” Pilkington said exclusively on this week’s Talking Devils podcast. “Dean’s come in and done very well, he’s had some great loans. At the moment it’s the man who’s got the shirt, he’s performing, and he’ll get pushed by Dean and Tom Heaton who are two very good goalkeepers in their own right. At the moment David’s doing the business and I’m sure Ole will see that and stick by him.”
“It’s hard as a goalkeeper because there’s only one position you can play in and if you’re consistent you’ll stay in the team. That’s what you want as a goalkeeper. You want to be trusted and you want to know that if you’re performing and doing your job you want to stay in the team. Even in the Cup competitions, you’ll be wanting to play every single game. If De Gea is performing there’s no reason why he should be out of the team.”
Pilkington believes that with De Gea should even retain his spot in the Champions League team tomorrow – in recent years, managers have rotated in the competition, but the former United keeper and current Barnsley goalkeeping coach suggested he would change that approach.
“The Champions League is the biggest conception in the world, you’ve got to put your best players out there,” he said. “If you qualify, then rotate your players.”
Kevin discussed this, Ronaldo’s return, and much more in the podcast. You can watch it below.