Man United pre-season: How goalkeepers fared, with David De Gea's future in his own hands

Matt Jones - Editor 21:58 08/08/2019
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De Gea will be far happier with what's in front of him this season, and needs to bounce back himself.

Manchester United fans head into the 2019/20 season in buoyant mood. Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have been signed to plug a leaky defence.

That duo, alongside Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof, as well as David De Gea, now all of a sudden look ship shape as opposed to a shipwreck last term.

Daniel James also provides a speedy asset up top, building into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s blueprint to set his side up as a fluent, rapid attack that presses their opponents high up the pitch, which bodes well. Something that will also have pleased the boss in the build-up to the new campaign.

Pre-season has been positive – United won all six of their games (five victories against Perth Glory, Leeds United, Inter Milan, Tottenham and Kristiansund, and one draw, albeit they did overcome AC Milan on penalties in their final clash). And they head into their Premier League opener on Sunday at home to Chelsea in good form.

Here, we take a look at just how well the United players performed over the summer. Starting with the men between the sticks:

GOALKEEPERS

DAVID DE GEA 6

De Gea

After an alarming drop-off in his previously impeccable high standards during 2018/19, the Spaniard has an important season ahead of him.

But a solid showing during pre-season and the security of a bumper new contract – believed to be £350,000 and which he was supposedly due to sign when returning from the Far East – is a good foundation from which to build.

Love and support from Solskjaer and the United coaching staff down a torrid home straight last term is believed to have been a big reason behind De Gea’s desire to stay.

‘Dave Saves’ is a popular United flag that can be seen draped in the Stretford End at home games. Now he has his future in his own hands, literally. He has to rediscover the form that made him the best of the best.

SERGIO ROMERO 6

The safest second pair of hands in the business did what he does during pre-season, be dependable. An underrated goalkeeper, he could easily be a No1 at a big European club, but seems content at Old Trafford.

Started against Perth and Leeds as De Gea was rested and then recovered from illness, after which he came off the bench against Inter, Tottenham and Kristiansund.

Made a stunning save from Patrick Bamford in the Leeds game – proving once more that when called upon he’s far more than just a prop sat on a bench.

JOEL PEREIRA 5

Replaced Romero at half-time in both opening games against Perth and Leeds, but then saw no further action once De Gea returned to the fold. Had one or two uncomfortable moments against Perth but generally did well.

The interesting decision for him and the club is whether he goes out on loan again this season to further develop, or sticks around and ousts Lee Grant as the No3.

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