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“Time For A Change”- Fans Rally Over Goalkeeper

Erik Ten Hag’s expectations from his goalkeeper could spell the end for David De Gea as the No.1.

Erik Ten Hag took over the English outfit in the summer, and it is expected that the Dutch manager implements his idea and culture into the team. Summer arrivals of Lisandro Martinez, Christain Eriksen, Casemiro, and Antony have highlighted his ambitions and decision to work with his preferred choices.

Sixteen matches into the new season at his new club, the manager has recorded ten wins, two draws, and fell to defeat four times, of which two came in his first two premier league games and another in the memorable 6-3 loss to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

It’s early into the new season, but rumors have it that Erik Ten Hag has pointed out positions within the team which need improvement.

Manchester United spent a whooping over 200 million in Ten Hag’s first season and would not be looking to splash the cash into the transfer market come January but ahead of what may be a passive transfer window for United, the manager has a list of preferred options which he would snap up should the chance arise.

De Gea’s Comparison To Erik Ten Hag’s Previous Goalkeeper

At Ajax, where he masterminded 157 wins, 25 draws, and 27 losses across all competitions, donning his goal for most of his games was the fearless Cameroonian Andre Onana. The Ngok-born keeper wins and preserves points for his team on his day and was once tagged “arguably one of the best ‘modern’ goalkeepers in the world.”

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I think Andre [Onana] is fantastic, legendary Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar heaped praise on the goalkeeper in 2018. He came to Ajax aged 18 or 19, and the way he developed, and the natural attributes that he already had, his speed, his reaction… I think he set himself as a great goalkeeper.

Also, he was rushing to play first-team football quickly, but I think the level that he composed himself and that first year,playing straight away the [2017] Europa League final was a great start.

The goalie is one who despite his height deficiencies, possesses great reflex, quick reactions and is classified as a sweeper keeper – a perfect match for Ajax’s high line.

Ten Hag’s style of play requires a lot of space between the defense and the goal, and the goalkeeper’s responsibility is to take up that space as his territory. Clearing the ball back into the opponent’s half or building from the back is one that suits the Dutch manager, and he is actively in search of someone who executes that perfectly.

As seen in a few glimpses this season, David De Gea’s willingness to remain on his line during attacks has drastically reduced, with the Spaniard coming off his line on numerous occasions to deal with attacks in his “territory,” much to the delight of the fans. However, another attribute the 31-year-old has continually slacked is his distribution and ability to claim crosses under pressure.

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At Ajax, Onana’s continual appearance indicated Ten Hag’s preference for Goalkeepers who are confident in their decision-making and claiming crosses are vital to taking pressure off his teammates. The best goalkeepers in the world are either renowned for their Shot stopping attributes – which De Gea fits in perfectly, or their ball-playing attributes. A combination of both features would be a point of standout Among the best, as seen in Allison and Ederson. They prevent their team from conceding and are also vital in contributing to attack from deep.

Erik Ten Hag Keeping Tabs on Diogo Costa

All of these attributes are the perfect fit for Erik Ten Hag and show De Gea’s liabilities as a keeper in a possession-based team. As such, it’s already been widely reported that Erik Ten Hag is looking for a new number one, with Diogo Costa linked with a move to the Premier League club, having attracted the attention of several European teams. 

Diogo Costa, in recent years, has also established himself as one of the best keepers in the world while displacing Rui Patricio from the position between Portugal’s sticks heading into the world cup. Having appeared 15 times already this season, the 23-year-old has pulled up a string of fine performances, including back-to-back penalty saves, while also registering right clean sheets so far this season.

The Portuguese shot-stopper most recent performances against layer Leverkusen in the champions league received accolades from fans across the world, and the compliments from his fellow countryman, Diogo Dalot, who plies his trade at Manchester United, triggered excitement among the fans. 

Diogo Dalot has been one of the mainstays on Erik Ten Hag’s team sheet this season and has improved geometrically since the Dutch manager’s appointment. Now fans would want him to serve as the agent in bringing Diogo Costa to Old Trafford.

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In conclusion

Costa’s outstanding season for Porto could be rewarded by a transfer to Manchester United in January or later in the summer. His price tag is around the region of £52m. That doesn’t appear to be an enormous amount to splash on the generational goalkeeper, who will be a massive upgrade to David De Gea and Tom Heaton or Martin Dubravka, who have failed to usurp the inconsistent Spaniard.

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