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Blow for Man Utd as De Gea limps out of Spain qualifier

21:09 BST 15/10/2019
David de Gea Spain 2019
The Red Devils shot-stopper was forced off after an hour having made several impressive saves during his nation's key clash on Tuesday

Manchester United look to have been dealt a major injury blow after goalkeeper David de Gea limped off while on international duty during Spain's Euro 2020 qualifier against Sweden.

The shot-stopper, who recently signed a new deal to keep him at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future, was forced out of the action on the hour mark.

The 28-year-old had already made a number of impressive saves before he was replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga, though he was unable to stop Marcus Berg from netting the opener.

De Gea appeared to initially hurt himself during the first half in Stockholm, and was seen to be grimacing in pain, before he made another of his trademark impressive stops.

However, his exertions after the break proved to be too much, with the former Atletico Madrid man ceding the goal to his fellow Premier League star.

"David made a great save in the first half and it is wonderful to have three great goalkeepers," said Spain boss Robert Moreno. 

"He was suffering from pain in his abductor muscle but he received treatment at half-time and he wanted to keep playing. He gave us his word but, in the end, he couldn't continue."

A four-time Player of the Year with United, with whom he was won multiple domestic and European honours, De Gea has come under fire for his performances in recent months, with several individual displays provoking cause for concern at the back.

Coupled with the Red Devils’ difficult start to the new season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and many have questioned whether his best days are behind him.

He has only made three appearances in 2019 for the national team, having started for them regularly throughout last year’s World Cup in Russia after establishing himself as the first-choice successor to Iker Casillas in goal.

He was left on the bench for Spain’s 1-1 draw with Norway on Friday, when Kepa was unable to keep out an injury-time penalty from Joshua King as Moreno’s side were made to wait to book their place at this summer's tournament.

Despite falling behind, and De Gea's injury, they did enough in Stockholm, however, with Rodrigo Moreno's stoppage-time equaliser enough to book La Roja's place in the Euros.

United, meanwhile, will now be sweating on De Gea’s fitness ahead of their major Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday as Solskjaer looks to somehow arrest his side’s fall down the table.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds are yet to drop points in the top flight this season, and have carved out an imperious lead at the summit of the table courtesy of their own fine results and title holders Manchester City’s unexpected blips in form.