Solskjaer challenges De Gea to win back his starting spot at United

David de Gea isn’t happy about losing his Man United starting spot to Dean Henderson, admits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has challenged him to win it back – as manager recalls how he competed with Sheringham, Cole and Yorke to show ‘he had a role to play’

  • Solskjaer admits David de Gea ‘wasn’t happy’ about losing his starting spot
  • Dean Henderson started his seventh game in a row as United’s No 1 on Sunday
  • Doubt has been cast over De Gea’s future and could leave the club this summer
  • However, Solskjaer believes it is healthy competition and will fight for his place
  • Solskjaer pointed to how he competed with the best strikers while at United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits David de Gea is unhappy over losing his place at Manchester United to Dean Henderson and has challenged the Spanish goalkeeper to fight to win it back.

Henderson has played the last seven games ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final clash with Granada in Spain, with the England keeper’s selection for Sunday’s win over Brighton particularly significant.

Henderson is now seen as United’s new No 1, a situation that has cast doubt over De Gea’s future after 10 years at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits David de Gea wasn’t happy about losing his starting spot

Solskjaer admitted that neither of his keepers are happy at being left out, saying: ‘If it’s Dean or David, I’m very comfortable with both of them to play and I’m very happy that none of them are happy to not play.

‘David has been a top, top keeper and he still is. He’s working to be ready when he plays. 

‘But every time I try to explain to players why they don’t play in this particular game and what they need to do and what my plans are for them, all those discussions remain private.

‘David has had 10 fantastic years at Man United and he’s had challengers. Of course, they want to play. 

Dean Henderson is seen as the new No 1, a situation that has cast doubt over De Gea’s future

‘Sergio (Romero) probably played less games than he deserved, Dean has come in and given it his all because everyone wants that place in the team.

‘David does as well and it’s a healthy competition. The nature of football, goalkeeper departments are a very tight-knit group. 

‘They work together in prep, they have different gym sessions, individual sessions, they stay together more. Naturally they create a bond and the spirit in the goalkeeping department has been top.

‘But it’s a healthy competition. Both of them are important, all of them want to play. It’s the same for Lee Grant and Nathan Bishop and Sergio Romero, they want to play and that’s a competition I like.’

The United boss recalled the competition for places he experienced as a player at United and challenged De Gea to battle for his place.

Solskjaer recalled the competition for places he experienced as a player, having battled with the likes of Teddy Sheringham (centre left), Dwight Yorke (centre right) and Andy Cole

‘When you are a part of Man United there are always going to be players coming in that don’t just come to fill the bench. Everyone has ambition to take your shirt,’ added Solskjaer.

‘I was there myself as a striker. We signed Ruud (van Nistelrooy), Diego Forlan, Louis Saha, loads of top strikers, Dwight Yorke and Teddy Sheringham.

‘The aim for me then is to prove to the manager that, “okay I don’t mind you signing these but I’m still important for you and I’m still going to give everything I can to play”. It’s the same – right-back, left-back, centre-forward, goalkeeper.’

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