Manchester United: Why Anders Lindegaard Should Be the Starting Goalkeeper

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2012

Manchester United: Why Anders Lindegaard Should Be the Starting Goalkeeper

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    He is one of the top young goalkeepers this season in the Premier League, yet Anders Lindegaard has found himself on the bench for most of 2011 with Manchester United.

    Lindegaard has shone when he has gotten a chance to play during this season with Man United. Already he has five clean sheets, tied with regular starter David de Gea with the most on the club in Premier League competition.

    However, Sir Alex Ferguson has not started Lindegaard due in large part to the hype and price tag that de Gea has. It also hasn't helped to see that de Gea has already registered 56 saves this season, tied for the seventh-most in the league.

    However, due to his strong performances, here is why I feel that Lindegaard should become the starting goalkeeper at Manchester United.

Fantastic Performances

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    Since he joined Manchester United at the beginning of 2010, Anders Lindegaard has been one of the most consistent performers at the club.

    That has continued into this season with his incredible five-match clean-sheet streak in the Premier League. Currently, that is the longest streak in the history of the Premier League for a player that has never conceded in the EPL.

    In fact, Lindegaard has only conceded twice in any competition in 2011 for Manchester United; against Southampton in the FA Cup (a match United went on to win 2-1) and against Benfica in the Champions League (which ended 1-1).

Lindegaard's Age

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    Currently, Anders Lindegaard is 27 years old. For most goalkeepers, that means that they have yet to fulfill their potential.

    However, Lindegaard is showing us that his potential will be something that deserves to be watched fairly carefully. When a goalkeeper is on the verge of reaching their full potential, they can be among the top goalkeepers in the world.

    Considering that Lindegaard has continued to develop strongly at this age, it should only be an indicator that he will only continue to get better over the remainder of this season, along with the next several years.

David de Gea's Weak Performances

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    Many people may doubt his abilities, yet I fully believe that David de Gea will be one of the top goalkeepers in the world within the next few years.

    This season was always going to be a difficult season for a player such as de Gea. He is 21 years old and is moving to a new nation after spending his entire life in Madrid with the club that he was a member of from the age of 10.

    He may have struggled at some important times, yet de Gea will rebound. However, that time will probably not happen this season.

    Instead, that time will probably happen sometime down the road, which means Lindegaard should be the primary starter until de Gea appears he can be the star that we know he is capable of becoming.

Strong International Experience Away from United

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    Lindegaard has already proven himself on the international level with five caps with the Danish national side. Granted, he is not the regular starter for the Danes, but he has impressed when he has been called upon.

    In Euro 2012, Lindegaard will make Denmark's squad as a substitute to Stoke City's Thomas Sørensen, who has been Denmark's primary goalkeeper over the past several years.

    However, Lindegaard should be starting for the national team within the next several years.

Lindegaard Has Only Continued to Get Better

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    It's been incredible but Lindegaard has only continued to improve with the accumulation of the season. This is expected to happen for any young goalkeeper, yet Lindegaard's story is particularly interesting.

    Just from watching game footage, you could see that Lindegaard has already changed his approach on items such as ball distribution, positioning and in communication with the back line in key situations.

    For any goalkeeper, those are three of the most important ways that you could improve your game.

    Of course, Lindegaard will have to improve in other facets in his game if he wants to become a world-class goalkeeper, but the Danish international is on his way to becoming one.

    Follow me on Twitter @Andrew_Jordan

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