So as the ball flashed past him at Stamford Bridge in the 6th minute of stoppage time, penny for David de Gea’s thoughts. He had actually made a remarkable point blank save before Ross Barkley swept the ball pass him, but what preceded that was the type of defending you should not be seeing from professional players who are trying to hold out for a win. Chelsea’s first goal was even worse, more joke defending which again meant the Spanish goalkeeper had no chance of keeping out the resulting header. As we stand a contract offer with improved terms has been made, however he has not seen fit to sign this yet, to be honest I don’t blame him either at this stage. His current contract is due to run out at the end of this season, however there is an extension clause of 12 months which will be invoked, if it has not so already, this does not change the fact that come next summer, if no contract has been signed it is very likely that he will leave the club that he has performed so admirably (understatement) for.
PLAYER OWES CLUB NOTHING
As we stand, the Spanish international has no doubt given a lot more to his club than they have given him back. Player of the year for 4 of the last 5 seasons (probably 5 out of 6 looking at this campaign already), what has he got back, well not a lot. Yes he has a Premier League title, played in FA and League Cup winning sides, as well as a picking up a Europa League winners medal, but as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world he has not challenged for a Premier League since winning it in 2012-13 or the Champions League. A goalkeeper of his stature wants to know they have that opportunity and as we stand at Manchester United, due to issues way beyond his control, he has no chance of that unless things improve massively and that is unlikely as the club is run by a bunch of idiots who still don’t understand how football works.
He may stay as he is very settled in Manchester now. When he first arrived in 2011, a young spindly 21 year old foreigner from Madrid, he struggled to make his mark. Replacing veteran Edwin van der Sar, there were rumours that he may be sold after some high profile errors in the 2011-12 season. However he stepped up, bulked up and has become the keeper we see today, a fighter and a man clearly adored by everyone at the club and as for the fans, well he is an absolute legend and a player who everyone knows has huge influences in matches. Some of the saves he has made are amazing and have made the difference in so many games. Even when he does make a mistake, he is well in credit by the way, you just stare in shock, thinking has that really happened, then he will do something remarkable again and then order is restored.
It was famously down to a faulty fax machine in August 2015, that de Gea is actually still plying his trade at Old Trafford. In a simlar situation to now his contract was running down, he was not renewing despite a lucrative offer, so a deal was struck with long time admirers Real Madrid in the final hours of the transfer window, however as mentioned, technology scuppered the deal. Big Dave signed a new contract and the rest is history, which is now seemingly repeating itself, lessons not learned by a club that are now a laughing stock. Sometimes pastures new are not all it is cracked up to be though, as mentioned he is adored in Manchester (the red side anyway), but internationally he is not as loved. He is currently the Spanish number 1, but he seemingly is blamed every time they lose or fail in a game. He was their easy target in the blame game after World Cup elimination in the summer and even in their recent loss to England 2-3 in the Nations League, he got criticism from some quarters, despite all of the opposition goals basically giving him no chance because his defence decided not to bother doing their job (there is also this issue at club level too) exposing him helplessly. If he does leave Manchester United he will be judged unfairly wherever he ends up, in my opinion, for any sort of error, whether it is his fault or not. The grass is not always greener.
UP TO YOU DAVE
So what does he do? Personally for me if he decided to leave the reds of Manchester, there can be no complaints, he has been a loyal servant and more. He is 28 in November and this will be his last big contract and he will want to be challenging for the top honours at club level and whilst I think he would like to stay in Manchester, as he loves the club, but unless they start to show they actually want to be a successful football team again then this is unlikely. Sentiment has to be put aside and he must make a cold hard decision about where he wants to play his football for the next few years. If the proposed contract is not signed by the end of the season, the bun fight for one of best keepers on the planet will be on and if United have any football brains at all (the jury is still well and truly out on this one) they should already be scouting options just in case.
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