Erik ten Hag won’t ignore the kicking issues displayed by David de Gea against Real Betis
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has admitted that he cannot ignore the kicking issues displayed by David de Gea against Real Betis.
The Spaniard was shaky at best with his distribution against the Spanish side on Thursday. During his time at Old Trafford, he has never been good with the ball at his feet.
But, there is a counter-argument that the 32-year-old is one of the best shot-stoppers in the world. In the modern game though, we have the likes of Alisson Becker, Ederson, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and co. who are good at both shot-stopping and playing out from the back.
Here’s what ten Hag said when asked about the shakiness displayed by de Gea with his kicking (h/t Independent):
“From today I can’t ignore it, but I think we have seen many games he did really well. I don’t know what the reason today was. There was a lot of wind, a different ball, probably he had some problems with that, but I know we can deal with it and he will do better Sunday.”
Whatever excuse ten Hag comes up with, that would just be to defend his player. De Gea’s kicking and distribution have hardly been good in the years he has been here. Once we can accept that part of his game, the better it is for all of us.
That is not to undermine the goalkeeper though, as he has saved United on many occasions in the last few years. There was a time when de Gea used to win the club’s player of the season trophy just because of the saves he used to make.
Ten Hag is the type of manager who won’t compromise on his principles though. It is clear he wants to play out from the back even when the opposition team is pressing high.
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United are linked with Brentford’s stopper David Raya for a possible summer move. He has been a revelation in the Premier League with his accurate distribution and some herculean saves. If de Gea’s issues with the kicking continue, we may as well sign Raya and upgrade that department.