One of Manchester United’s longest-serving players is expected to sign a contract extension that could take him beyond the 10-year mark at Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper, who has been at Old Trafford since 2011, has only one year left on his current contract but Solskjaer is confident that the goalkeeper will sign a new deal for the club.
Last month, The Sun reported that Manchester United were willing to offer De Gea a £20m golden handshake to leave the club, but Solskjaer’s more recent declaration suggests otherwise.
He conceded 54 goals and managed just seven clean sheets in the Premier League in 2018/19. His previous league campaign saw him leak only 28 goals and achieve 18 clean sheets – and with one game fewer than last season.
The 2018/19 campaign was the first in which De Gea’s tally of Premier League clean sheets did not reach double figures, with his goals against tally of 54 only three fewer than the combined number of goals conceded in the two league seasons prior to that.
The Spain goalkeeper committed some high-profile howlers in the latter weeks of last season, including a horrendous fortnight in April in which he was beaten at his near post by Leroy Sane in the 0-2 defeat to Manchester City and palmed a shot straight into Marcos Alonso’s path to gift Chelsea an equaliser in a 1-1 draw. A week before, he left a tame shot from Lionel Messi squirm under his grasp in the 0-3 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.
De Gea may not have been at his best last season, but only Manchester United fans with very short memories would fail to acknowledge his immense contribution to the club.
He has been the club’s Player of the Year four times and was named in the PFA Team of the Year for four consecutive seasons up to 2018. Also, it was only last January that he produced a masterclass to help Solskjaer’s side to a 1-0 win against Tottenham, making 11 saves in a match that Spurs dominated.
In December 2017, he pulled off an incredible 14 saves in Manchester United’s 3-1 win away to Arsenal, in which the Gunners registered 33 shots to United’s eight. That was the joint-highest number of saves made in a single Premier League match.
When Peter Schmeichel left Old Trafford 20 years ago, Sir Alex Ferguson went through a succession of goalkeepers before finding the right formula, a mistake the famous old Scot has opened up about in the past. Solskjaer can’t make the same mistake with De Gea, so offering him a contract extension makes perfect sense, even if the Spain number one’s standards dropped last season.
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