David de Gea faces arguably the most crucial period in his Manchester United career in the next few months after his poor form continued on Sunday, according to Paul Ince.
Spanish goalkeeper De Gea was at fault throughout as Chelsea beat United 3-1 to progress to the FA Cup final.
In particular, De Gea should have stopped Mason Mount’s goal, letting a tame shot from the England international slip through his grasp.
However, such mistakes have proved to be common in recent months.
His error that led to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s opener in the 1-1 draw with Everton in March was his seventh error leading to a Premier League goal since the start of last season, the joint-worst record.
Now, Ince believes De Gea needs to “stand up and be counted” if he is to save his Old Trafford career.
“Any mistake you make, as a goalkeeper, will always be magnified. We know that, but what we’re seeing from David de Gea at the minute are basic, schoolboy errors,” Ince told Paddy Power.
“They are errors that someone on his wage and at his level simply should not be making – and not for the first time, too. If you go and look at the season, there’s several absolutely horrendous mistakes that just shouldn’t be happening.
“When you make mistakes like that, you have to come out in the next couple of games and stand up and be counted – to nullify that criticism – but it seems like he isn’t capable of doing that at the moment.
“You need to prove you’re the number one goalkeeper. He made a couple of decent saves yesterday against Chelsea, but the fact is, in big games you expect that. In those big games, the best keepers in the world aren’t making mistakes to begin with.”
DE GEA’S CRUCIAL END TO THE SEASON?
United finish their Premier League campaign with matches against West Ham and Leicester this week.
Sunday’s clash with the Foxes is crucial and will decide which of the sides will play Champions League football next season.
De Gea is likely to continue in net for those two games, however Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has favoured Sergio Romero in goal for the Europa League this season.
Although, with their other commitments finished by then, it is unclear whether De Gea will take Romero’s place for the matches in August.
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