Rio Ferdinand has backed David De Gea to reignite his form of old for Manchester United next season, despite the return of Dean Henderson.
There has been mounting speculation that Henderson could oust the Spaniard as he prepares for a new Old Trafford contract.
The England hopeful has returned to United after two highly successful seasons on loan at Sheffield United. And he will be pushing to replace De Gea as United’s No.1 when the new season gets underway next month.
De Gea’s dip in form over recent seasons is a far cry from the constant heroic displays that saved his side points, and which earned him United’s Player of Season award on four occasions.
Yet this season’s poor form has seen the 29-year-old firmly be thrust into the firing line after a number of high-profile mistakes.
Former United captain turned Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane was among De Gea’s biggest critics as he lambasted the Spaniard for making two huge mistakes in the FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea.
But Old Trafford legend Ferdinand has told TEAMtalk that De Gea should be given a chance to bounce back.
“De Gea has the ability to get back to where he was,” Ferdinand told us. “He’s shown over the years that he is a class act. He can now have a break for a few weeks and come back with his focus renewed.
“He has the mentality to come back and reach his levels again. We’ve seen time and again how good he can be. I think he can still be a big player for United, but he has a point to prove again now. He has had tough times before and has come back.
“He’s a great goalkeeper and over the years he has been fantastic for United. He was player of the year four out of six years or whatever it was, but if you are not pouring the goods over an extended period of time you have to be told and there has to be someone waiting in the wings to come in.”
Fernandes a breath of fresh air
Ferdinand went on to hail Bruno Fernandes as the kind of signing United need to target this summer. With the Portuguese midfield maestro making a huge impact at Old Trafford after his arrival in January.
“Fernandes has been a breath of fresh air for the team,” he added. “Where he has been great is unlocking the imagination of the team.
“You see Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood, and the minute Fernandes get the ball, they are off, they know their chance is coming. He doesn’t need a second invitation to deliver that pass.
“That’s what top players do. They change a team and a club with their presence, and we have seen that with Fernandes at United.”
By Matt Owen
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