Manchester United legend Gary Neville has urged his former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to be “decisive and ruthless” when it comes to choosing his No. 1 goalkeeper next season amid the form of David De Gea.
There had been many calls for the Spaniard to be dropped following a poor run of performances since the return of football, the most notable coming in Manchester United’s 3-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final earlier this month.
However, Solskjaer kept faith in his goalkeeper for their final two Premier League games and was rewarded with a decent performance against West Ham and a clean sheet against Leicester City, helping United to fourth place and a spot in the Champions League for next season.
It is reported that the Manchester club are already in talks with Dean Henderson over his future with the promising young keeper impressing during his loan spell at Sheffield United.
Should he return to Old Trafford, De Gea will have a major battle on his hands to retain his spot as the first-choice keeper but Neville warned that only Solskjaer can make the decision over who will start next season.
“I was nervous about [De Gea] in his first year or two at Manchester United but then he did prove to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world for four or five years”, he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.
“In the last 18 months he’s been riddled with mistakes and only Solskjaer can make that decision over the goalkeeper.
“What I would say about that decision is that Solskjaer has to be decisive and ruthless with that decision, he’s got to think about himself and the club. If he thinks De Gea is going to return to the level he was at before, stick with him.
“Before the West Ham game I was 50-50 whether Solskjaer would drop him. When I found out he was playing, I said before the game in my interview that the only time you would be able to prove whether that was the right decision or not would be on Sunday at 6pm.”
Neville also extended the same advice to Frank Lampard over the future of Chelsea’s No.1 Kepa Arrizabalaga. The 25-year-old was left out of the squad for the 2-0 victory over Wolves on Sunday and the former United captain warned that Lampard must make a stand on the issue to progress as a manager.
“You’ve got to be ruthless, the best managers in the world are ruthless. Frank and Ole have got to be ruthless with their boards.
“Kepa is not good enough, he hasn’t demonstrated that he is good enough yet”, Neville continued, “De Gea has been good enough.”