Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has provided his honest verdict on the Red Devils parting ways with long-term servant David de Gea this summer.
De Gea, 32, left the English giants when his contract expired at the start of last month. He had reportedly agreed to a new deal on reduced terms before the club retracted the offer at the eleventh hour. The goalkeeper eventually departed after refusing to take a bigger pay cut.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have since roped in Andre Onana from Inter Milan for a deal worth €51 million. The Cameroon international is viewed as an ideal No. 1 for Erik ten Hag due to his ball-playing ability. Many, therefore, regard him as an upgrade on De Gea.
Ferdinand, though, reckons the Red Devils will miss De Gea’s services this season. The former defender added that the Spaniard would not have been let go by United in any other era other than this one. He told TNT Sports:
“I think they’ll miss him. He’s arguably the best shot-stopper around, won the Golden Glove last year. So, I don’t think in any other era would the keeper that won the Golden Glove be relieved of his duties at a football club.”
“But the way that the game’s going now, in wanting the goalkeeper to be attached to the 10 outfield players and be a footballer now, that’s why we’re in that situation.”
“They brought in a goalkeeper (Andre Onana) whose one of his best attributes is his footballing ability, the ability to play over various distances, comfortable on the ball, wants to be a part of the footballing side of the team, and that’s a huge part of what Erik ten Hag wants from his goalkeeper, so I understand that decision.”
Manchester United are in the market for another goalkeeper, with Dean Henderson facing an uncertain future at the club. They have been credited with an interest in Fenerbahce shot-stopper Altay Bayindir.
How did David de Gea fare for Manchester United?
David de Gea joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid for around €22 million in 2011. He moved to Old Trafford following an eight-year stint with the La Liga giants. The goalkeeper made 84 appearances across competitions for them, keeping 23 clean sheets.
The Spaniard quickly established himself as a key player for the Red Devils upon moving to England. The former Atletico shot-stopper went on to play 545 games across competitions for the Premier League heavyweights, registering 190 shutouts.
De Gea is notably the player with the seventh-most appearances for Manchester United in their history. He also helped the club win eight trophies, including the Premier League title and the UEFA Europa League, during his 11-year spell at Old Trafford.