Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested that David de Gea will feature for the Red Devils on a regular basis between now and the end of the season. The Norwegian boss has opted to deploy Dean Henderson as the last line of defence in recent weeks, but the Spaniard was selected to start Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg clash against Granada.
De Gea has struggled for consistency at times this season, with the 30-year-old having conceded 29 goals in 25 Premier League appearances.
Henderson has impressed in his absence but the England stopper has failed to assert himself as the obvious choice for United’s No 1 shirt, leaving the door open for De Gea to fight for his place.
Solskjaer decided to put a huge amount of trust in the former Atletico Madrid man by starting him against Granada, who are enjoying a sensational debut campaign in Europe this season.
The La Liga hopefuls, who opted to bestow their attacking responsibilities upon the likes of Chelsea loanee Kenedy and former Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado, were greeted by a significant number of supporters lining the streets ahead of Thursday’s clash.
Solskjaer explained his decision to recall De Gea before the match, claiming that the occasion presented a fantastic opportunity for him to put in a strong performance and suggesting that an imminent return to regular action could be on the cards.
“David is fantastic keeper,” Solskjaer told BT Sport. “And I was thinking that I’m sure he wants to prove his fellow countrymen as well, how good he is.
“David tonight is sure to play a good game, or I hope so, and you’re probably going to see him more often as well.”
Solskjaer admitted in midweek that De Gea and Henderson would be forced to battle for a starting berth for the foreseeable future, confirming that he is yet to be swayed either way with regards to his preferred candidate.
“David has had 10 fantastic years at Man United and he’s had challengers [before],” the manager told reporters.
“Of course they want to play. Dean has given it his all because everyone wants that place in the team. David does as well and it’s a healthy competition.
“Goalkeeper departments are a very tightknit group. They work together in preparation, they have different gym sessions, individual sessions [to the rest of the squad], they stay together more.
“Naturally they create a bond and the spirit in the goalkeeping department has been top. But it’s a healthy competition.
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