“Edinson Cavani is the best defender!”
David de Gea’s former coach has pulled no punches with his assessment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side.
Gabino Rodriguez, who coached De Gea for the Spanish U21 team, believes that the United goalkeeper has been let down by the players around him and raised doubts about Solskjaer’s ability to manage at the top level.
Rodriguez has backed De Gea to keep his place between the sticks for Spain at the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament and has dismissed criticism of the 30-year-old’s form for the Red Devils.
Rodriguez slammed United’s current defence, insisting that veteran centre-forward Edinson Cavani is the most reliable defender at Solskjaer’s disposal.
Rodriguez also contrasted Solskjaer’s side with Alex Ferguson’s best United teams and suggested that De Gea has been made something of a scapegoat as a result of the shortcomings of the defenders in front of him.
“I always believe the team is a true reflection of the character of its coach,” Rodriguez told The Sun. “Look at the one led by Sir Alex Ferguson and that would show no mercy.
“But Ole’s team is softer than a muffin and David is suffering the consequences of the defensive frailties.
David de Gea
“You need to protect your best asset in the team, but there is just an uncontrolled mess between midfield and defence with gaps.
“Basically Ole’s team has a brutal defensive weakness. The two centre-backs are too slow, they are not commanding and other teams are well aware of it.
“The big problem is Solskjaer’s tactical organisation. United’s defensive deficiencies are undervaluing De Gea and Ole just doesn’t convince me.
“In the old days Roy Keane and Paul Scholes not only dictated games, but did the dirty work and were the defensive backbone. In Ole’s team Edinson Cavani is the best defender!”
It has been suggested that De Gea could leave United this summer after a season in which he started his fewest games for the club.
Dean Henderson has provided some stiff competition for De Gea and there could be a changing of the No. 1 shirt ahead of next season.