Another embarrassing blunder for David De Gea and another question mark hangs over Jordan Pickford.
In Man United’s trip to Everton today, two of the Premier League’s most scrutinised goalkeepers faced off – and it was not pretty.
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Barely three minutes were on the clock when De Gea, who’d kept three Prem clean sheets in a row before today’s outing, was closed-down by Dominic Calvert-Lewin while he was in possession of the ball.
Then, as he attempted to take a long kick up-field, he could do nothing as the ball ricocheted off the striker and into the net.
Worst of all, moments like this are no longer a rarity for the once unflappable glovesman.
The Spaniard was widely considered the best goalkeeper in the world just a couple of years ago and the one beacon of hope in the Red Devils’ tricky post-Fergie era.
But his form has dropped dramatically since the beginning of last season and now goalkeeping gaffes have become an alarmingly regular occurrence for him.
The stats behind his recent run of errors don’t look too good either, as he currently ranks at the top of the list for most errors leading directly to a goal since the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season.
It was a similar story for the man at the other end of the field.
30 minutes after De Gea’s mistake, a long-range effort from United’s new boy Bruno Fernandes flew right through the hands of Pickford and into the back of the net at the Everton keeper’s near-post.
While at first it looked like an incredible strike from the Portuguese midfielder, the replays showed that it was actually a relatively straight-forward stop for England’s No.1.
And with that, he’s joined De Gea at the top of the list for the most goalkeeping errors made with seven – meaning the pair are the equal worst in the Premier League when it comes to making mistakes.
Despite the facts, neither Everton nor Man United have decided to drop their respective goalkeepers just yet – unlike Chelsea with Kepa Arrizabalaga.
But their error-strewn run could come back to bite them by the end of the season – and Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson could be the biggest beneficiary of all.
The Man United academy graduate, who’s spent the last two seasons on loan at Bramall Lane, has impressed during his first term in the Premier League with the Blades vastly exceeding expectations by challenging the traditional ‘big six’.
The goalkeeper has been one of their most outstanding players, and his brilliant form has even seen him tipped to take Pickford’s spot as England’s first-choice goalie this summer at Euro 2020.
Henderson has yet to play for England’s seniors and it’ll be seen as a big risk from Gareth Southgate if he opted for the inexperienced youngster, but there’s little doubt that he’s a genuine contender – especially as Pickford continues to rack up those costly errors.
There’s also been discussions among United fans on whether Henderson should return to Old Trafford in the summer and take De Gea’s place between the sticks.
The 22-year-old, as aforementioned, has enjoyed a good season in the top-flight and has proven his ability time and time again.
But would United really throw him into the deep end and let him replace De Gea, considering his lack of experience?
It’s certainly a tough decision that only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can make.
The fact of the matter is, today’s game at Goodison Park only strengthened his position; and he wasn’t even playing.
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