Former Manchester United star Paul Parker feels David De Gea has been put in a ‘very awkward situation’ at the club by the return from loan of Dean Henderson.
De Gea remains the first choice goalkeeper at Old Trafford, but Henderson has returned from two seasons on loan at Sheffield United and has signed a new contract with the Red Devils.
Henderson appears to be the long-term replacement for De Gea, but he would like to turn that into a short-term plan and usurp the Spaniard as soon as possible.
The Englishman started for United for the first time on Tuesday night as they beat Luton 3-0 in the Carabao Cup and impressed on his debut.
Parker now feels that the pressure has really ramped up on De Gea, who knows that mistakes will very likely cost him his place in the first team.
‘What I would like to think is that Henderson has looked at De Gea, a vastly experienced goalkeeper, and he has thought to himself that he can compete and eventually beat him out as the club’s first-choice,’ Parker told Eurosport.
‘If he is up for the challenge though, and I have no reason to think otherwise, then he deserves a lot of credit. It’s easy these days for players to be content, to stay comfortable. It would have been very easy for him to go back to Sheffield United, where he knows everyone and is the undisputed first-choice, but fair play to him for testing himself.
‘We all know De Gea is going to come back into the starting line-up for Saturday’s game against Brighton but what happens then if he makes an error? Every goal they concede now is going to be dissected more than before.
‘Even if United win you know Solskjaer is going to be under pressure from fans and the media to make a change. It’s tough for goalkeepers, you don’t get to make as many mistakes as outfield players, and now De Gea is going to be under the microscope more than ever.’
De Gea will be back in goal when the Red Devils take on Brighton in the Premier League this weekend, but Henderson will have the chance to prove himself again against the same opponents in the Carabao Cup next week.