Former Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is still without a club after leaving Old Trafford as a free agent, with Erik ten Hag signing Andre Onana as his replacement
After more than a decade of service to Manchester United, eyebrows were raised when David de Gea revealed he had left the club via social media earlier this summer.
Although the veteran goalkeeper, 32, had excelled in previous years when United were not at their best, he struggled to adapt to the demands placed upon him by Erik ten Hag, who puts an emphasis on his shot-stoppers playing out from the back.
De Gea, who was in the final year of his contract, was also undermined by a number of costly errors which sparked speculation that Ten Hag would seek a new No.1 ahead of the 2023/24 campaign.
Weeks after De Gea announced he would be leaving the club as a free agent, United signed Andre Onana in a £47.2million deal from Inter Milan. However, the Cameroon international has endured an indifferent start to life at Old Trafford and has already been criticised in some quarters by several pundits.
De Gea, meanwhile, is still unattached – perhaps surprisingly, given his pedigree. The Spain international amassed 190 clean sheets in 545 appearances for the Red Devils and won the Premier League’s Golden Glove award just weeks before leaving United.
Despite a lack of movement, plenty of clubs have been credited with an interest in his services over the course of the summer. He was heavily linked with Bayern Munich shortly after becoming a free agent and recent reports in Spain have touted Real Betis as a possible destination for the ex-Atletico Madrid man, who is free to sign for a club outside of the transfer window given his free agent status.
While it initially seemed as De Gea would stay for another year at Old Trafford, it was revealed by The Manchester Evening News that Ten Hag had changed his mind over the club’s goalkeeping situation late in the season.
The report outlined that the Dutchman was heavily influenced by three games where mistakes by De Gea led to goals: Sevilla, West Ham and the FA Cup final defeat by Manchester City.
Once it became clear that Ten Hag wanted to move in a different direction, the writing was on the wall for De Gea, who was initially signed by Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2011.
In his emotional farewell message on social media, De Gea wrote: “I just wanted to send this farewell message to all Manchester United supporters. I would like to express my unwavering gratitude and appreciation for the love from the last 12 years.
“We’ve achieved a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club. I took incredible pride every time I pulled on this shirt, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honour only bestowed upon a few lucky footballers.
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“It’s been an unforgettable and successful period since I came here. I didn’t think from leaving Madrid as a young boy we would achieve what we did together.
Now, it’s the right time to undertake a new challenge, to push myself again in new surroundings. Manchester will always be in my heart, Manchester has shaped me and will never leave me. We’ve seen it all…READFULL