Manchester United needs to exercise patience with David de Gea, and a knee-jerk reaction to get rid of him in January would be an ill-advised move.
The Daily Mail’s David Kent reported that Sir Alex Ferguson is rumored to be chasing after another option in the net for United’s Champions League run. Kent points to Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic and Liverpool’s Pepe Reina as two possible targets for the United manager.
However, it is far too early in De Gea’s tenure with the Red Devils to declare him a failure.
After tapping the Spanish international to be Edwin van der Sar’s replacement, United shelled out £18.9 million for the budding star. Since arriving at Old Trafford, he has received mixed reviews.
His long arms and incredibly quick reflexes allow him to make spectacular saves, but he has been unable to establish himself as a formidable presence on crosses and loose balls in the box.
Much of his problems are due to indecisiveness. When he is acting purely on instinct and reflexes, he is as effective of a shot-stopper as any goalkeeper in football. However, when he starts to think too much, he often gets himself into trouble.
This is an understandable struggle for such a young player, and as he gains more experience, the decisions he currently struggles with will become second nature.
Opting to go with a young but talented player was always a risky decision, but it was the correct one. De Gea has the ability to grow into a star, and it would be a true shame to shatter his confidence this early in his career by bringing in another goalkeeper.
For now, United must suffer through their goalkeeper’s growing pains, which are often balanced with moments of brilliance.
There are far too many nuances involved with playing goalie to expect such a young player to live up to Van der Sar’s standard, and it may be a few more seasons before De Gea is able to turn in a campaign that approaches what the Dutchman delivered prior to his retirement.
But De Gea has continued to improve throughout this year. His ability to handle himself in a crowded penalty box has gotten better, and his reflexes are as sharp as they have ever been.
There is no reason for United to chase after another goalkeeper, and the team must take De Gea’s deficiencies along with his exceptional talent while he continues to mature as a player.