We’re rapidly approaching that point in the season where transfer rumours, both incoming and outgoing, begin to swirl.
Yesterday, we covered a story which suggested United have already drawn up a two-man shortlist should David de Gea leave Manchester United this summer… After all, it’s a real possibility given his contract situation.
This morning, though, the question we’d like to ask is whether the Red Devils already have their De Gea replacement at Old Trafford? It’s an area of the field in which this club has done relatively well in over the last couple of decades.
Make no mistake about it, I firmly believe De Gea is the best in the business. There is nobody in world football on his level so if he does depart from the Theatre of Dreams, we’re guaranteed to be taking a step backward.
In terms of depth, United have the absolute best in the world. De Gea’s top dog while I’d also argue that Sergio Romero is the best number two in the business. In terms of a short-term fix, the Argentine would be more than capable.
We’re talking about an experienced goalkeeper who has never let us down. Romero’s always been supremely reliable in terms of commanding his area while also being a top quality shot-stopper. Like De Gea, his biggest weakness is probably distribution of the football. For me, that’s the least of my worries.
Aged 32, Romero could well step in and do the job for a year or two if we need it. Honestly, I’d much prefer to give him a shot at it than United going and breaking the bank to sign Jordan Pickford.
Next up we have Joel Pereira who has somewhat turned into the forgotten man at Manchester United. Jose Mourinho loved the Portuguese shot-stopper but he was always going to be fourth in the pecking order behind the aforementioned duo and Lee Grant.
He’s obviously a talented lad although he needed regular minutes. That’s why he’s spending this season playing in Belgium. Hopefully, he’ll come back to Old Trafford a better player, feeling ready and hungry to make a real run at winning the starting job.
All-in-all, the potential is there. He’s now 22 and for him to make it at this club it’d probably have to happen over the next couple of years. I see him in a similar light as to how we looked at Sam Johnstone; a good keeper but probably not capable of reaching that elite level. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move away on a permanent basis within the next twelve months or so. Our search for a long-term replacement goes on…
Last but not least we have Dean Henderson. The Englishman has often been forgotten about when discussing potential United keepers, but the proof is in the pudding.
He’s spent back-to-back seasons out on loan at Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United. Henderson has massively impressed both sets of supporters while aiding two promotion pushes in the Football League.
Henderson’s a wonderful shot-stopper who has a real control of his penalty area, while also having the underrated ability to baulk at his defenders should he need to.
Sure, mistakes would be made over the first couple of seasons but this lad has supreme talent. If we’re in complete rebuild mode why not start from the ground up and give the minutes to an academy graduate who has massive potential? It’s a gamble but it certainly seems like the logical option to me…
De Gea replacement? Maybe.