Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea‘s form has once again come under scrutiny, with the 29-year-old having been rated as Spain’s worst performer following their surprise 1-0 defeat to Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League.
After shipping 11 Premier League goals in just three matches so far this term, he may have hoped that the international break would provide some respite. However, the Spaniard was unable to prevent La Roja from falling to defeat in Kiev.
De Gea concedes from Ukraine’s only shot on target
For most of the contest in Ukraine, De Gea was little more than a spectator, with the Manchester United stopper being well protected by his back four. Spain allowed their hosts to fire in just two efforts on goal throughout the 90 minutes.
However, despite Spain’s domination of the ball, it was Ukraine who inflicted their first defeat in nearly two years. That was in part thanks to Viktor Tsygankov taking advantage of De Gea being off his line in the 76th minute – an error that left Luis Enrique needing to defend his number one in his post-match interview.
The Spanish press have been quick to apportion responsibility for the loss on De Gea’s shoulders. The ‘keeper was voted the team’s worst performer on the night by Marca. The publication also suggested that he was ‘uncomfortable’ and that Enrique has a ‘problem in goal’ with the United number one.
De Gea once again coming under fire
This is a very challenging period for De Gea, who has already conceded an average of 3.7 goals per game for United this season and made just 2.3 saves per match (via Sofascore). The Red Devils now have Dean Henderson waiting in the wings to take his place if needed, and the young ‘keeper made his case by recording 13 clean sheets on loan at Sheffield United last term, as per Sofascore.
Just when De Gea needed a solid night with no mistakes, he was found wanting for Spain when they shipped the only goal of the game in Ukraine. Whilst Marca’s verdict might seem harsh, it is a sign of the player’s misfortunes at both club and international level, and he needs to swiftly prove some doubters wrong.
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