Erik ten Hag truly believes David de Gea can play in his possession-based system at Man United.
Slowly but surely, this Manchester United squad is adapting to play the Erik ten Hag way.
It was always going to take time. It was never going to happen overnight. Some players adjust quicker than others.
One man we were all convinced would need to be replaced? David de Gea. The Spaniard, for all his shot-stopping ability, never felt like a perfect fit for a gaffer who likes his teams to play out from the back.
De Gea was magnificent against West Ham, saving our bacon with some unreal stops, though the passing is still hit-and-miss.
Well, although the fans have doubts, Ten Hag doesn’t. He remains ‘convinced’ that the United star can adapt to his system and pass the ball out from deep. The Dutch manager believes he ‘has the capabilities’, while admitting that the Spaniard ‘is progressing’ in that aspect.
Check out what Erik ten Hag had to say on David de Gea here:
“So, everyone has their own opinion and their own philosophy,” said Ten Hag, per ManUtd.com. “For me, for a goalkeeper, you have to protect the goal and make sure you don’t concede goals. In that fact, he is magnificent.
“On the feet, for me, he (De Gea) has the capabilities as well. I think when you see this season, he is progressing from game to game on that part. And that has to do not only with the keeper.
“It has also to do with the ones in front, how you give the keeper the options to bring passes in, because when they don’t run free, or in the wrong moments, or in the wrong positions, then he doesn’t have the options to pass around.
“But I am convinced he can do it and I think the games so far prove that. I think he will improve from game to game on that part.”
No doubt this praise for De Gea will only continue to encourage the ex-Atletico Madrid man that he can do it. Like anything, it won’t happen overnight.
The coaches will be working tirelessly with De Gea, testing him with various passing drills and putting pressure on the Spaniard when he’s got the ball on the deck.
Although I believe it’s hard to coach this at this stage in De Gea’s career, I fully trust in Ten Hag and those coaches at Carrington. They’re already working wonders with the lads, so why not continue that with our Spanish number one?
The fact that De Gea hasn’t been selected for the World Cup also means more opportunity for the player to practice in that aspect for the few weeks while many of the squad will be in Qatar. That’s only a good thing.
Do you think David de Gea can play in the Erik ten Hag system? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.