De Gea and Henderson battle at Man Utd has ‘problem written all over it’ – Neville

David de Gea, Dean Henderson
Getty composite
As soon as the Spanish goalkeeper is replaced, he may as well be forgotten about at Old Trafford, the ex-England defender has said

Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes trouble is brewing at Old Trafford over who keeps goal in the coming season, with Dean Henderson’s return to the club putting David de Gea’s position in doubt.

The Spain international made several high-profile blunders last term but has long been regarded as one of the best shot-stoppers in the game, while Henderson enjoyed a breakout campaign at surprise package Sheffield United, where he spent the campaign on loan.

Neville does not believe Henderson will return to take De Gea’s spot, but he believes the additional competition spells trouble for United.

"The idea that Dean Henderson would come into Manchester United and replace David de Gea as No 1 goalkeeper straight away… it won't happen, I can guarantee it won't happen," Neville told Sky Sports' ‘FNF: Season Preview’.

"This has got 'problem' written all over it. The one area of the pitch where you need consistency and stability is your goalkeeper, you need to know who your No.1 is, you cannot be flip-flopping. It just does not work; I've never seen it work at any club or at international level.

"Where there is a decision to be made about two goalkeepers you have to pick your No.1, go with him and stick with him, even if there is a mistake.

"Once you take David de Gea out of the team and put Henderson in, you may as well forget about De Gea. That's coming from my experiences at United.

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"The period between Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar we had Ricardo, Fabien Barthez, Mark Bosnich, Roy Carroll, Tim Howard, Massimo Taibi, many goalkeepers over a five- to six-year period and there was an inconsistency that certainly didn't help."

De Gea and Henderson were statistically closely matched last term, though Henderson had marginally the better numbers in terms of goal conceded and errors leading to goals.

The 23-year-old has been on United’s books since 2011, while he has spent much of his senior career out on loan at the likes of Stockport, Grimsby and Shrewsbury before joining the Blades.