Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confessed he ‘cannot ignore’ David de Gea’s struggles with the ball at his feet.

De Gea lost his place in the Spanish national team after manager Luis Enrique decided he was not strong enough in possession and those weaknesses were on full show in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Real B*tis.

It’s something that United and Ten Hag have long been wary of. 90min understands a new goalkeeper could be signed in 2023, with Porto’s Diogo Costa regularly watched by scouts.

Asked about De Gea’s struggles against B*tis, Ten Hag conceded: “From [the game], I can’t ignore it, but I think we have seen many games he did really well.

“I don’t know why, or [what] the reason was. There was a lot of wind, it’s a different ball, he probably had some problems with that. But I know he can deal with it and he will do Sunday better.”


Ten Hag continued his defence of De Gea and insisted the Spaniard can keep improving on his distribution.

“We work on that; David is working on that,” he stressed. “But I think we have seen, in the season, that he is improving, and he will keep improving, I am sure.”

De Gea’s current contract runs until the end of this season but United have the option to extend it by a further 12 months.

Talks remain on over De Gea’s long-term future at the club. The goalkeeper remains one of the highest earners at Old Trafford and there is a desire to address that one way or another, with a potential departure not yet ruled out.


On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss Bruno Fernandes’ inspired response in the 4-1 win over Real B*tis, concerns over David de Gea’s kicking ability and whether Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be recalled.

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!


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