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Why Schmeichel replacing De Gea could solve Manchester United’s 'keeper crisis

Martin Cooper August 2, 2020
Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rumours are gathering strength that Manchester United are weighing up a shock move for Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel to replace David De Gea between the sticks.

De Gea has suffered a major slump in form while Dean Henderson, who has been on loan at Sheffield United all season, is still considered a rookie.
Schmeichel is, of course, son of Old Trafford legend Peter, who won five Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and the Champions League in his time at the club.

Schmeichel – how long is his contract at Leicester?

Kasper Schmeichel still has three years left on his contract but the 2016 Premier League winner would be relatively cheap compared with Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, who although 27 years old has a release clause in the region of £109 million.

SunSport said it understands United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has doubts over whether Henderson is ready to grab the Red Devils’ number-one spot. Despite a stellar season on loan at Sheffield United, Henderson is still only 23 and, barring loss of form, has many years at Old Trafford ahead of him.


Henderson will also want regular first-team action next season to stay in Gareth Southgate’s England plans for the Euros. Playing second-fiddle to De Gea would end his chances of a place in the England squad, especially with that position up for grabs following another alarming dip in form, that of Everton’s Jordan Pickford.

Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

De Gea – his wages and high-profile errors

De Gea is young for a goalkeeper, 29, but there has been a steady decline in his performances, while his wages are reportedly £375,000 a week.

Errors include failing to stop Steven Bergwijn’s shot against Spurs – a mistake that sent former United captain Roy Keane into apoplexy – key errors against Everton and Watford, and two howlers in the semi-final against Chelsea.

United’s other goalkeeper in the first-team squad, Sergio Romero, seems to be constantly overlooked.

With Champions League football at Old Trafford next season, a consistent and experienced performer such as Schmeichel could prove a wise move by United until Henderson is ready to step up and claim the keeper’s jersey for many years to come.

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Martin Cooper is a senior editor and writer at The Focus. The man behind the style guide comes from a newspaper and magazine background and has worked in the sports, aeronautical and hospitality industries. While head of production at The Argus he appeared on the Jeremy Vine radio show and worked as a freelancer on the sports desk at The Sunday Times. Martin is also an FA Level 1-qualified coach and took his youth team from division five to division one in two seasons before going out at the top.