Gary Neville tips up De Gea replacement but changing Man Utd No1 comes with significant warning
Gary Neville claims a current Premier League stopper would be a strong option to replace David de Gea, although he also warned about the added pressures of being No.1 at Manchester United.
De Gea will be out of contract this summer, although talks over a new deal are thought to be progressing fairly well despite the fact that the Spaniard will have to take a significant pay cut to remain at Old Trafford.
However, Erik ten Hag is still known to be keen on adding another stopper with better ball-playing skills.
And that is where Brentford star David Raya fits in, with the Bees keeper excellent in possession. However, Neville also has concerns over whoever replaces De Gea in terms of the added pressure that comes with being United’s first-choice stopper.
“‘I think Raya would interest United in the summer,” said Neville on The Overlap.
“I went to watch Brentford a couple of weeks ago… I think he’s going to become available, he’s only got a year left. He could step up.”
Neville’s comments on Raya, who has also been linked with Tottenham, do come with a warning though, in terms of goalkeepers from the past who have struggled in the Old Trafford spotlight.
He added: “It is a problem that. I’ve said it’s the single most difficult position in English football being the Manchester United goalkeeper. I genuinely believe that.
“I think Liverpool’s number one is the second. And that’s not to be disrespectful to all other clubs, I think the Manchester United goalkeeper comes under more scrutiny if they make a mistake than any other position in English football on the pitch.
Neville hopes Raya could handle pressure at United
“It’s tough! And I’ve seen lads in that goal [struggle]. That’s the problem they’ve got. It’s whether [a new goalkeeper] can handle that stadium.
“I think it’s that element of that lull that they experience where the team are attacking at home for, say, 10 minutes and the keeper hasn’t touched the ball and they’re just there. It’s that concentration goalkeepers need to have when they’re not involved in the game.
“‘I always think a Manchester United goalkeeper – or any goalkeeper – needs to have unbelievable concentration. Because you might go five minutes without touching the ball.
“We’re [outfield players] always involved, or just in our positions, but a goalkeeper can just be redundant for a period in a game. I think that’s a really tough thing to have to deal with.”
Meanwhile, Raya has also been tipped up as a strong option for United by former Newcastle keeper Shay Given.
He added: “I do like him. If you’re saying Ten Hag wants to be the perfect Ajax manager and play out from the back, spraying it all over the place like Ederson, I think someone like Raya is very, very comfortable with the ball.
“But is he a better shot-stopper [than De Gea]?”
United are back in action on Sunday when they head to bitter rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.
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