Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has issued a show of support for David De Gea after the Manchester United goalkeeper came in for more criticism.
De Gea has been in the spotlight in recent months, with his place as United’s number one at risk.
His position came into question again after United’s 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig on Tuesday, which saw them knocked out of the Champions League.
Former United midfielder Paul Scholes called his attempt at saving Leipzig’s third goal “criminal”, just days before De Gea was named on the 55-man shortlist for the 2020 FIFA FIFPRO World 11 team.
Dean Henderson played instead of the injured De Gea in United’s last Premier League match at West Ham. Whoever starts their next league game, against rivals Manchester City, will be the centre of attention.
Sixth-placed United start the weekend just five points behind leaders Tottenham with a game in hand. But it is clear that improvements are needed if they are to kick on.
United have managed just one win in five Premier League home matches so far this season. Defensive shakiness continues to hamper them, even if they have managed to bounce back to win every away game.
Even though United need to reduce the number of goals they are conceding, Solskjaer remains faithful in De Gea.
“I think David’s a top goalkeeper,” Solskjaer said. “Of course I do and rightly so he’s on lists of being the best goalkeeper in Europe.
“For me, he’s handled criticism before, he’s handled setbacks before and he’s a boy, or a man, that we really rely on.
“Hopefully he’s not affected by criticism and I don’t think he will be because every goal that a goalkeeper concedes you’d be disappointed with.”
Solskjaer hoping for United response
Solskjaer now has to rally the troops for Saturday’s Old Trafford clash after the disappointment in midweek.
There was some good news from Solskjaer, as Anthony Martial is available again after missing the Leipzig match. However, he is yet to make a decision about Edinson Cavani.
He believes, though, that the derby with City is the best game they could hope for to focus on next.