July 20, 2020 / 5:17 AM / 21 days ago

Time is right to axe De Gea, give Henderson the gloves, Shearer says

Soccer Football - FA Cup Semi Final - Manchester United v Chelsea - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 19, 2020 Manchester United's David de Gea looks dejected, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pool via REUTERS/Andy Rain

(Reuters) - Manchester United should replace goalkeeper David de Gea with Dean Henderson next season, former England striker Alan Shearer has said after the Spaniard’s disappointing display in Sunday’s 3-1 FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea.

De Gea, 29, was at fault for Olivier Giroud’s opener late in the first half and then allowed Mason Mount’s shot to squirm through him and into the net after the restart.

A string of errors from De Gea have prompted calls for him to be replaced as first choice by Henderson, who is drawing praise for his showings on loan at Sheffield United.

“If the goalkeeper makes one mistake, or possibly two, you think you should stick with him,” former Newcastle United striker Shearer told the BBC.

“But it keeps happening. I think you only bring Dean Henderson back to Manchester United as the number one, or you keep him where he is to keep gaining experience. I think that time has come.”

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described De Gea as mentally strong after the game, but former club defender Phil Neville said the keeper was low on confidence.

“He’s unrecognisable from the goalkeeper that won (club) player of the year four years out of five years. He’s making mistakes. A confident, assured, on-form De Gea saves all three (goals),” Neville said.

“If I was Solskjaer, then I would be worried because of his performance levels. They’ve dipped and his inconsistency is costing United games.

“I wouldn’t leave him out yet. His credentials are still up there with the best in the world. He’s just lost all his confidence.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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