David de Gea has made Manchester United history but Man City clash highlights future challenge – Casey Evans

While many Manchester United fans were concerned by the team’s inability to score at one end of the field, David de Gea was silently breaking records at the other.

Saturday’s game ended 0-0, with Watford mustering only a handful of easy to save shots and United will feel like it was two points dropped rather than one gained.

But in keeping his 129th clean sheet, De Gea surpassed the league record of Peter Schmeichel at the club and moved to 10th in the all time table for the Premier League.

De Gea has been in exceptional shot-stopping form for United and, in a team that is constantly making mistakes, his 98 saves have helped to keep top-four hopes alive.

But while he is surpassing United’s goalkeeping greats of the past, in the Manchester derby he will come up against his antithesis and the keeper that seems to be defining the future of the position – City and Brazil star Ederson.

It is clear what the weaknesses are for De Gea. His distribution of him is poor, often giving possession back to opponents with misplaced long kicks. His short passes from him are uninspiring and usually follow a long pause that takes all momentum out of a potential attack.

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Also, he is reluctant to leave his line, both to sweep up attacks that go over his defensive line when they are pressing high nor to claim balls that come into his box, preferring to see whether the situation resolves itself and then setting himself up for the shot if it doesn’t.

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However, the most successful keepers in the league this season, like Jose Sa and Allison, are incredibly proactive and prevent fires in preference to putting them out. Ederson usually falls into this bracket.

When a goalkeeper like Ederson who plays in this way makes a mistake, it always falls on their shoulders and there aren’t many places to hide.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester United! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive United coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to United fans – United On My Mind.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the red side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

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By contrast, when United make mistakes the blame generally falls on the defense despite De Gea’s lack of help in trying to remedy the dangerous situation.

Ederson is the future of keeping and United should take note when deciding whether they want to extend De Gea’s contract.

He has cemented his legacy in both the club’s and the Premier League’s history. But now he needs to be moved on to make way for the future instead of the club staying firmly cemented in the past, unless he can change his game.

Do you think David de Gea should be Manchester United’s keeper in the future? Follow our United On My Mind writer Casey Evans on Twitter and get involved in the discussion in the comments section below.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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