Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has strongly suggested Erik ten Hag gets rid of David de Gea in order to deliver the kind of football he wants at Old Trafford.
Hargreaves was speaking after United’s devastating 3-0 loss to Sevilla – a result that effectively knocked the Red Devils out of the Europa League.
De Gea’s huge mistakes were ruthlessly punished by Sevilla, who were only too happy with the gifted goals given to them.
De Gea’s weaknesses were on full display against the Spanish side and, according to Hargreaves, De Gea’s limitations don’t fit perfectly with Ten Hag’s football philosophy.
In the past, Ten Hag has shown a clear preference for modern goalkeepers who can sweep, play with their feet and master their boxes claiming crosses. These are all things that De Gea blatantly fails to do.
However, the United manager has repeatedly stated publicly that he is happy with De Gea and wants to continue working with the Spaniard.
Following the Sevilla defeat, Ten Hag launched another defense of De Gea, pointing to the 32-year-old who currently leads the Premier League for the most clean sheets as proof he is a first-class shot-stopper who still has the capacity to play at the highest level.
Hargreaves told BT Sport: “First of all, David de Gea has been an incredible servant to this football club. He has been a brilliant goalkeeper and is a brilliant shooter.
“But he’s not good with his feet and he showed it tonight and he showed it on countless occasions this season. We know Erik ten Hag wants to play, he wants to get the ball down and play. The first goal came from that and also the third to a lesser extent.
Hargreaves added: “These are huge moments that they clearly need to resolve. So the question is: is this part of Erik ten Hag’s philosophy? Based on today you’d say no, it didn’t look good.
Hargreaves noted that United lost the game during the second half at Old Trafford, where they threw away a two-goal advantage to give Sevilla a way back into the game.
According to the former United player, the tie was already over before he set foot in the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.
“This was lost in the second half at Old Trafford. It could have been three or four – zero. They might have been out of sight. Instead, they were punished tonight.
For United, attention now turns to Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final clash against Brighton at Wembley.