By Ollie Cranham-Young
- De Gea yet to feature due continued speculation over his future
- Romero is the man in possession
We are already 3 games into the new campaign, but we still don’t know who will be number one shot-stopper for the season ahead.
We thought it might be a good time to give our views on the situation: In this article we will discuss the quality of our current goalkeeping options and decide which one is the best option for the season ahead.
David De Gea
There has been no end of speculation on whether he will depart Manchester for sunny Spain, and we are no more certain today, than we were six months ago, on whether he is staying or going. The main reason as to why he is not currently being selected is because Louis Van Gaal believes that he is not in the right state of mind to go and play 90 minutes of football.
Van Gaal is right to do this because you can have a bad game as a striker or as a defender and it’s not the end of the world, but if you’re a goalkeeper and you play badly then you could have cost your side the vital three points.
Others disagree however, United legend Paddy Crerand thinks otherwise: He says that once you enter that football pitch all your problems and thoughts disappear. Either way, it’s a risk we cannot take so early into the season and I’m sure Van Gaal does not want to disrupt the level of chemistry between the squad especially not long before the Champions League Qualifying Second Leg, which we must overcome.
So the only way for David to be our regular number one starter is if he comes out, and tells us he wants to stay here for a long time and signs a contract. So to summarise, he is not in the right frame of mind at the minute and we cannot risk putting him in goal unless he decides to commit his future to the club and sign a long-term contract.
Prior to the opening game, we hadn’t seen much of our new Argentinian signing, however what we have seen from the first three games has been nothing short of impressive. Two clean sheets what would have been three if not for an unlucky deflected free kick in the midweek clash against Brugge.
He played in last summer’s World Cup, ironically knocking Louis Van Gaal’s Netherlands side out of the competition which already tells us he is a fantastic goalkeeper. He hasn’t had much to do so far in his first premier league campaign, but some notably good saves against Tottenham shows his desire to be this seasons main man between the sticks.
Obviously, we don’t not know much about Romero but he is already a fans favourite. Only time will tell if he can be the number one, but what we have learnt from the opening three games is that if De Gea doesn’t sign a contract soon, Romero is more than likely to be the goalkeeper we rely on for the majority of the season.
At the beginning of the U.S. tour, we hadn’t signed Romero yet so the obvious choice to go for was Sam Johnstone as he has been in the reserves, and been on loan for some time now. Not only that but it gives him some first team experience, whilst being under no pressure whatsoever.
He performed well in the games that he was featured in, which were: the first halves against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, he was introduced in the 63rd minute against Barcelona in exchange for De Gea and he was brought on for the second half of the game against Paris Saint-Germain. So to summarise, he featured in all of United’s tour games this year but is yet to make his competitive debut for United.
He is currently our second choice goalkeeper having been on the bench for the opening 3 games. We anticipate that he may play the less important fixtures of the current campaign – the FA Cup and League Cup fixture maybe. Although it is about time that United added an extra cup to an already glittering collection. The only time we can see him starting a league game is if Romero gets injured or is being rested for an important upcoming fixture.
We doubt that Lindegaard will make many first team appearances as he has fierce competition from Romero and Johnstone, and there is the complicated De Gea situation to add to the matter as well.
If De Gea does leave the club, we imagine that he will be the last choice goalkeeper. We are only assuming this because he only feature in one half of the tour games which makes us think that he is not a key part in Van Gaal’s plans.
However, from what we have seen of him in recent campaigns, he is a fantastic back-up keeper and is a valuable third option should he be needed. What we are sure of though, is that it would be a real shame to lose him this year, as well as De Gea and Valdes, who are both very likely to leave the club.
Valdes has not been featured on the programme squad list, or in fact been on the bench for any of our games this year, including tour games. So we imagine he is due to leave the club imminently