As the new season approaches the talk continues as to who will take the Number one jersey at United this season. Anders Lindegaard has proved on this seasons preseason tour his capabilities to pull off match winning saves and prove to the manager his worth. Meanwhile, De Gea has been away at the Olympics with Spain, who failed to reach the knockout stages of the competition in a huge upset to Honduras. With De Gea’s early return Lindegaard will face competition again for a starting place in the upcoming games against more notably FC Barcelona and Hannover as I would expect Sir Alex to keep Lindegaard in goal vs Valerenga to allow De Gea some recovery time.
Sir Alex Ferguson turned to Lindegaard following De Gea’s shaky start at Old Trafford, and the Dane rewarded him by keeping a clean sheet in his first five Premier League games. However a training injury forced Lindegaard out and he did not retain full fitness until just last month leaving the door open for De Gea to regain his place for the second half of the season. Despite his worrying start to the season, De Gea improved a lot as the season progressed and produced excellent goalkeeping displays against Liverpool and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
The sheer price tag difference in the two goalkeepers is huge and I think it is a major factor for David De Gea’s position over Lindegaard in goal. Sir Alex paid around £18M for the Spaniard last summer which came with huge expectation and pressure that he would comfortably fill the space left by the retired Edwin Van Der Sar. People jumped to conclusion at the start of the season that De Gea would be the perfect replacement and gel in well with the squad which didn’t prove to be the case. It took him some months to find his feet at Old Trafford and adapt the style of Premier League.
Without the huge transfer fee on his shoulders, Anders Lindegaard has always performed when called upon by the manager and seemed to stake his claim as Number one every time he played. He has also not been shy to tell people why he should be the number one at Manchester United and when asked about being Number one he said: “Yes definitely. I think I played six or seven games in a row, and I think that speaks for itself” – Clearly showing people that he is confident in his ability.
After proving he is a world class goalkeeper in the second half of the season I full expect David De Gea to be Number one next season as he has already developed well in the time he has been at United and at only 21 has the time to get better. Anders Lindegaard has taken a long time to be where he is today and during his time in goal hasn’t disappointed, however, I still feel that the price of both goalkeepers has influence on the decision as Sir Alex would receive more criticism by leaving out a £18M goalkeeper than another that cost £3.5M.
Published with permission from RU.