Ten Hag Defends De Gea: ‘He’s The Person With The Most Clean Sheets’

Ten Hag Defends De Gea: ‘He’s The Person With The Most Clean Sheets’
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea looks dejected after West Ham United's Said Benrahma (not pictured) scores their side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at the London Stadium. Picture date: Sunday May 7, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has emphasized that goalkeeper David de Gea has the most Premier League clean sheets following the Spaniard’s error against West Ham on Sunday evening.

The Spaniard has endured another error-riddled season, with his latest blunder costing him dearly as he failed to save Said Benrahma’s optimistic long-range attempt. De Gea lost his balance and, despite getting a hand on the ball, allowed it to creep over the goal line.

This error proved decisive in United’s 1-0 loss at West Ham, a result that severely damages the club’s chances of finishing in the top four and securing the highest level of European football for next season.

De Gea’s performance was nervy, with multiple errant passes out of the back and shaky corner-taking.

Ten Hag: ‘Mistakes Are Part of Football’

Unsurprisingly, Ten Hag attempted to minimize the goalkeeper’s error after the game and emphasized the positives of his season. He instead chose to view United’s loss to the Hammers, in which they were essentially inferior, as a team responsibility.

“Yes [it was a bad error], but mistakes are part of football,” the manager stated, “As a team, you have to deal with it and bounce back. It’s a team sport.”

“Like you said, over the season, he’s the person with the most clean sheets. Everyone has to take responsibility.”


De Gea’s future at Old Trafford is in serious jeopardy; his contract expires at the end of the current season, and after rejecting the club’s initial contract offer, there is a significant chance he will depart the club this summer.

The long-serving Spanish goalkeeper, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011, is one of only two players still at the club from Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure as manager.

In 2019, De Gea inked a lucrative contract that made him not only the club’s highest-paid player but also the highest-paid player in the Premier League, earning £375,000 per week.

De Gea’s Man United Future Up in the Air

The goalkeeper recognizes that, at the age of 32, he cannot command the same level of compensation, but he desires a sum that he believes reflects his worth.

United are rumored to be on the watch for a new goalkeeper this summer in order to provide competition for De Gea and possibly unseat him as the starting goalkeeper.

Porto FC ‘keeper and Portuguese international Diogo Costa is rumored to be one potential candidate, while David Raya of Brentford is also being monitored by United.

Some have questioned De Gea’s compatibility with manager Erik ten Hag’s system based on his manner of play. The Dutchman’s possession-based philosophy necessitates that his goalkeeper be comfortable with the game and confident in his distribution.

It is likely that the Dutch coach will stick with De Gea as his number one for the remainder of the season, as Man United still have the advantage over arch-rivals Liverpool in the chase for Champions League football.

On Saturday the Red Devils host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford, a game in which it will be vital to secure all three points.



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