Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would not say whether under-fire Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea will start Wednesday’s crucial clash with West Ham.
Just a month on from lauding the 29-year-old as the best in the world, the Red Devils’ goalkeeping dilemma increased after the Spain international cost his side a shot at FA Cup success on Sunday.
De Gea did not cover himself in glory for Olivier Giroud’s opener and was guilty of a shocker as a long-range Mason Mount strike somehow beat him, putting Chelsea in control of a semi-final they would win 3-1.
It was an alarming display that compounded some other glaring errors over the last 18 months, raising awkward questions about his status as number one ahead of Wednesday’s vital clash with West Ham.
Solskjaer was in no mood to focus on the goalkeeper in the build-up and said “this is not going to become a David De Gea press conference”, but questions were natural about a player tied down until at least 2023.
Asked if he could clear up whether De Gea would start against the Hammers, the United boss said with a laugh: “No, because I don’t want to talk about him!
“We stick together as a group. Of course you’re going to stick together as a group and, as I said, he’s proven before he’s mentally strong.
“We’ll stay together and you’ll see the team on Wednesday night.”
Dean Henderson is snapping at De Gea’s heels having shone on loan at Sheffield United, while Sergio Romero, the back-up goalkeeper surprisingly omitted from the FA Cup semi-final starting line-up, is waiting in the wings.
‘YOU HAVE TO MAKE BIG CALLS’
Selecting the Argentina international against West Ham would be a big call but Solskjaer has shown during his time in the Old Trafford hotseat that he is willing to make such decisions.
“Well, you have to [make big calls],” the United boss said.
“Every position is a big one here at this club so you’ve just got to do what is right for the team and the club.
“We’ll do that on Wednesday, we’ll do that on Sunday and then when the season’s finished we’ll make more decisions.”
Asked if Romero was disappointed to have been left out of the Chelsea match having started every other FA Cup match, Solskjaer said: “Everything we talk about is between ourselves.
“We keep that relationship open and every player can trust me to keep that confidential.”