Spain Fans Want David De Gea Dropped, Iker Casillas Return in AS Poll

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2018

TOULOUSE, FRANCE - JUNE 12:  David de Gea (L) and Iker Casillas of Spain during a training session ahead of their UEFA Euro 2016 Group D match at the Stadium Municipal on June 11, 2016 in Toulouse, France.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

A new AS poll has revealed fans of Spain's national football team want Manchester United star David De Gea dropped from the side and replaced with FC Porto's Iker Casillas.

As reported by Marco Gonzalez, over 50 per cent of those polled wanted the national team legend to go straight into the starting XI. Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga received almost 40 per cent of the vote, and Pau Lopez came in at roughly 5 per cent.

De Gea, the current starter, finished fourth with just under 5 per cent after a difficult year in the La Roja shirt. The United star has long been fiercely criticised in his home country for failing to bring the same form he shows in the Premier League, and a series of blunders in 2018 have increased calls to drop him.

He made crucial mistakes in the lead-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup before gifting Cristiano Ronaldo a goal in the 3-3 against Portugal. That set the tone for a poor World Cup from the former Atletico Madrid man, who still hasn't recovered for the national team. 

He made another crucial mistake on Thursday in the loss to Croatia:

FootballJOE @FootballJOE

If you’re not watching Croatia-Spain, David De Gea has just handed Croatia a winning goal, literally.

Casillas put even more pressure on the 28-year-old by announcing he's open to a return to the national team setup, per Universo Valdano (h/t Sport). The former Real Madrid man wasn't called up for the World Cup and backed up De Gea throughout Euro 2016, the last major international tournament he played a part in. 

The 2010 world champion and two-time European champion has returned to form at Porto after a difficult end to his spell with Real.

Despite being 37 years old, he continues to put up excellent stats:

AS English @English_AS

Iker Casillas makes claim for Spain national team recall with more 2018/19 league clean sheets than "La Roja" stoppers: David De Gea, Pau Lopez and Kepa https://t.co/alu7Zca48W https://t.co/wnX9STgqBe

Arrizabalaga has enjoyed a fine start to the season with Chelsea, further adding to the competition. The former Athletic Bilbao man has been the regular backup to De Gea for some time and has performed admirably when called on, fueling the belief the 24-year-old could be a safer option between the sticks.

Spain lead Nations League Group A4 with one match to play between England and Croatia. Depending on the outcome of that contest, La Roja may move into the final stages of the competition and qualify for Euro 2020 as a result.

If Croatia and England don't draw, La Roja will instead have to go through the normal qualifying process, and if that's the case, manager Luis Enrique will have to figure out his goalkeeping situation in a hurry.

AS' Alfredo Relano named it one of the key questions for the tactician to figure out, and he said of De Gea's form: "I've never seen Spain's goal as badly defended with such frequency as in the team's most recent outings."

Spain will host Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly on Sunday.