Erik ten Hag undecided between Tom Heaton and Jack Butland for Manchester United tie against Charlton Athletic
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is undecided between starting Tom Heaton or Jack Butland in the goal against Charlton Athletic.
The Red Devils will take on the League One outfit in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday (10 January) at Old Trafford. However, the Dutch manager has a dilemma on his hands, with the Crystal Palace loanee in contention to make his debut for us.
Speaking on the club’s official website, Ten Hag felt Heaton had been unlucky as of yet not to feature for United this season. But the gaffer is also set to evaluate Butland in training before making a decision on his starting goalkeeper.
“Tom was, many times, on the bench. He had bad luck when he was injured for the Carabao Cup, the first one against Aston Villa. Then Martin [Dubravka] was keeping and he did very well. Now the situation with [Jack] Butland coming in, I have to see his performance in training.
“But the Carabao Cup is coming quick and then we will make a choice. Tom is, of course, more adapted to our way of play and has more connection to the dressing room, to the team, but still I have a decision to make on Tuesday.”
The 36-year-old has been at the club since the summer of 2021. On the other hand, the 29-year-old joined the Red Devils this month for the rest of the season to provide cover after Martin Dubravka’s exit.
Heaton has not played much for United over the years. The 36-year-old has garnered just one appearance for the Red Devils since arriving in 2021, which came as a substitute in the Champions League.
Last season, the former Aston Villa star was behind David de Gea and Dean Henderson in the pecking order. In the current campaign, the Spaniard has been the first choice. But Dubravka got to start in our previous two Carabao Cup matches.
Thus, it remains to be seen whether Heaton gets his chance against Charlton. However, Ten Hag can also count on Butland now. The 29-year-old was a regular for the Eagles in the domestic cup competitions last season.
The England international was sidelined for most of the current campaign prior to his Old Trafford switch. Will the Palace loanee be given his debut for United? Only time will tell.
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But it seems wise to let Heaton man the posts. The 36-year-old has regularly trained with the Red Devils’ first team. He also featured for us during pre-season. De Gea should be rested with Manchester City our next opponents in the Premier League.