Another season has drawn to a close and I’d argue this one is the most disappointing since Sir Alex Ferguson decided to call it a day.
Now that the dust has settled we’re back at it with our seasonal player ratings. First up it’s the turn of the goalkeepers.
Our general rule of thumb when writing these is to stick with players who have played for the first-team – although we’ve made an exception with Dean Henderson who looks a top talent despite not having donned out for the Red Devils as of yet.
David de Gea
Where else to start but our #1? David de Gea has been our saving grace on multiple occasions throughout the last five years. He started this season in similar fashion, making some brilliant stops to ensure United kept picking up points in the league while progressing in Europe.
However, over the last couple of months, we’ve seen probably his worst form since his forgettable debut season. The mistakes started to creep in, with errors against Chelsea and FC Barcelona the most high-profile.
That doesn’t take away from his overriding abilities and I’m pretty sure that we all want the superstar Spaniard to stay beyond this summer.
One position United have got right since Fergie left is goalkeeper. Sergio Romero is arguably the best back-up in world football at this point and once again, the Argentine hasn’t let us down whenever called upon.
Unfortunately, the 32-year-old played his lowest number of games in a season since moving to Old Trafford in 2018/19 – having only featuring in six matches. If De Gea does leave, though, I’d be comfortable with giving him a season to make the starting job his own.
United’s move for Lee Grant left us all puzzled last summer, particularly with young Joel Pereira developing and growing as a shot-stopper, but, I suppose the club wanted three keepers on the books due to injury.
Grant played just one match for the Red Devils this season; the horrific penalty shootout loss to Derby County in the Carabao Cup. He didn’t even start this one, having to come on as a substitute for Romero who got sent off. I vaguely remember the ex-Stoke City man making one or two top saves, but that’s about as good as it got for the veteran.
My rating is mostly based on the fact that he didn’t start a game. Given more minutes, he probably would have been a five or six.
Now aged 22, Joel Pereira was always highly thought of by his countryman Jose Mourinho. After playing a handful of United games, the self-proclaimed Special One thought it wise for the budding keeper to go and get regular minutes out on loan. That I wholeheartedly agree with.
Pereira headed to Vitoria Setubal where he’d make nine league appearances in the first-half of the season. Problems arose, that loan was terminated. In January, he headed to Belgium to play for Kortrijk. He’s played just three times in meaningless games. His growth has stunted and perhaps he’s fallen down in the pecking order…
He’s yet to make his United debut, but Dean Henderson is rightly being eyed as a future number one. Earning back-to-back promotions while on loan with Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United respectively is huge for career-development. He was the number one in both campaigns.
With the Blades, Henderson became a cult hero. His shot-stopping ability, command of penalty area, control of back four and overall distribution was brilliant. He needs one more season on loan, preferably with Sheffield United in the Premier League, then he could well be ready to take the starting job at Old Trafford.