April 23, 2021

Man Utd

News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s relationship with David de Gea ‘has become a problem’ at Manchester United

3 min read

David de Gea’s Manchester United future is increasingly in doubt as his relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has become strained over the issue of who the number one goalkeeper is at the club.

The Spaniard joined United nearly a decade ago, and has been unquestionably his side’s first choice between the sticks during that period.

But the return of Dean Henderson to Old Trafford in the summer after his loan spell at Sheffield United last season provided Solskjaer with a serious dilemma, and it is one that threatens to bring an end to De Gea’s time at the club.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's relationship with David de Gea has become increasingly strained

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s relationship with David de Gea has become increasingly strained

The Spaniard's future at Manchester United is in doubt after losing starting spot at the club

The Spaniard’s future at Manchester United is in doubt after losing starting spot at the club

Henderson was picked for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton, but it is believed problems between De Gea, who is contracted until 2023 and earns £375,000-a-week, and his manager go much further back.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Solskjaer planned on dropping the Spaniard in November against West Brom, but the 30-year-old reacted so badly that his manager decided to reverse his decision and pick him instead of Henderson.

Similarly, the United boss changed his mind after he intended to start Henderson against Chelsea in February, but opted in favour of De Gea after the senior keeper voiced his discontent.

It’s also reported that many within the United dressing room believe Henderson should be the club’s number one, and have done since December, but Solskjaer has until now largely kept his faith in the man who has been named in the PFA Team of the Year five times.

Dean Henderson is widely recognised as United's number one and is backed by his teammates

Dean Henderson is widely recognised as United’s number one and is backed by his teammates

However, De Gea has not played since that Chelsea match, travelling to Madrid for the birth of his daughter, and it is now becoming accepted that Henderson is the club’s number one keeper and will be going forward.

Solskjaer spoke after the Brighton game on the situation between De Gea and Henderson, attempting to play down any suggestion that there was conflict in the United camp.

‘With Dean and David’s situation, I know it’s something that will create headlines and [is] fish and chip wrapping paper in a little while,’ Solskjaer said.

‘But I’ve got two great goalkeepers and it’s about now finding games both will play [in]. 

Solskjaer has insisted there is no tension but neither keeper is willing to be second-choice

Solskjaer has insisted there is no tension but neither keeper is willing to be second-choice

‘Obviously not the same game, of course. But both of them deserve to play more than what they do and it’s a decision I have to make every time.’

With neither player likely to stay around for next season if it becomes clear they are second-choice at the club, Solskjaer will have to play his faith in one of the pair over the next few months.

It seems probable that it will be Henderson who is favoured, having signed a new five-year contract in August, leaving De Gea to find a new club and potentially having to take a significant pay cut to do so.

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