Michael Owen feels David de Gea’s injury has given Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the “perfect opportunity” to start Dean Henderson in goal.
De Gea was once again handed a starting berth when United faced Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday. The Spain international had conceded twice before injury ended his participation in the match at the interval.
The Red Devils went on to win the game 3-2 thanks to Edinson Cavani’s late brace. That followed Bruno Fernandes’ seventh top-flight goal of the season in a third straight win for the Old Trafford outfit.
Henderson’s goal was not breached and the debate over which keeper should get the nod continues. De Gea, 30, is vastly experienced having made 417 appearances for the club.
However, high-profile mistakes have crept into his game in recent seasons. There are those who feels his best days are behind him and Henderson should be given a chance.
Owen, speaking on Premier League TV, agrees and believes the boss should use the situation and take action.
“If you are thinking about changing the goalkeeper, this is the time,” said the former England striker. “I don’t think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants confrontation. I don’t think he wants to drop him. But in this situation all of a sudden, ‘hey you went off injured and he has done nothing wrong’.”
It remains to be seen if De Gea’s injury keeps him out for any length of time.
Henderson will be a more than adequate replacement, having shone while on loan with Sheffield United. He was inspired as the Blades gained promotion from the Championship and last term in the Premier League.
There is a groundswell of opinion that it is time to make him number one at the Theatre of Dreams. Owen is among that number and wants the Norwegian tactician to take decisive action.
“It is the perfect opportunity,” he added. “If he had any of those thoughts over the last few months when mistakes were made, now is your time.”
Fernandes in Cavani fan club
While the argument over who should play in goal shows no signings of ending, there is no disagreement up front.
Cavani has made a huge impact since arriving at the north-west giants. With three golas in five league outings, he could prove the difference between Champions League or Europa League football.
Eyebrows were raised when United signed the Uruguayan but Fernandes sees only positives.
“For me, he’s one of those strikers that can smell the goal as you saw twice,” he said. “He smelt the goal, you need to have this feeling to score these two goals.
“As I said some weeks and some months ago, Edi will help us and he is helping already.
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