Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists David de Gea is ‘the best goalkeeper in the world’ and has defended the star following his latest high-profile error against Tottenham.
The Spain international has come under fierce criticism following his role in Spurs‘ opener during the 1-1 draw with the north London side on Friday night, the 29-year-old beaten far too easily by Steven Bergwijn’s effort.
De Gea’s blunder was one of several the goalkeeper has made in recent months and questions have been asked about his long-term position as United’s number one, but Solskjaer has now backed the under-fire star and insists he remains the very best in world football.
“David is the best goalkeeper in the world,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash with Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“He’s conceded two goals in the last seven games he’s played for us. There are two games against City, Chelsea, of course Tottenham, Everton. Two goals in seven games, we’ve gone on a run not conceding goals.
“The Everton one is a freak one, maybe. This one, he cannot save it.
“He makes great saves, he wins games for us and I still think he’s the best goalkeeper in the world.
“David’s working really hard. He’s not making errors that you see time and time again. He’s been consistently working hard in training and I’m very pleased with his work.
“I speak to David. He has been here nine years. He has developed into a mature goalkeeper. He has had some fantastic seasons. I don’t think it is a bad run when you concede two goals in seven games against the teams we played against.
“He has made some match-winning saves. He saved a point for us on Friday with his save straight after the goal. He is mentally very strong. I speak to him every day. That is fine.”
De Gea’s continued struggles have led many to call for Dean Henderson to be promoted to number one next season, the young goalkeeper having thrived in the Premier League on-loan at Sheffield United.
Ahead of the club’s meeting with the high-flying Blades on Wednesday night – for which Henderson is ineligible – Solskjaer praised the young ‘keeper’s performances for the Bramall Lane side this season and believes the 23-year-old has what it takes to be first-choice for both club and country in the coming years.
“Dean Henderson has had a fantastic season. He has proven that the loans have worked out as we wanted,” Solskjaer added.
“It is a different job to be playing for Sheffield Utd and Man Utd. They are different roles and the two years he has had has been fantastic for his development. He has played in a team that has played fantastic football and is worthy of a few points with his saves.
“He wants to be the best. There’s good coaching there. One day he will be England and Man Utd number one.”