De Gea has enough credit to remain Manchester United No 1, says Cole - but Henderson is ready to pounce

David de Gea Manchester United 2020-21
The former Red Devils striker believes the Spaniard will remain first choice at Old Trafford, but only if he can raise his standards again

David de Gea has enough “credit” at Manchester United to retain his No 1 spot for now, says Andy Cole, but the Spaniard has been warned that Dean Henderson will be ready to pounce on any mistakes.

Costly errors have become a theme for the once reliable shot-stopper at Old Trafford.

Having overcome a testing start to his time in England to be four-time Player of the Year for United, De Gea is again having questions asked of his performances between the sticks.

Henderson has been absorbed back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad aftertwo productive loan spells at Sheffield United.

De Gea has remained the go-to man in the Premier League for the early weeks of the 2020-21 campaign, but defensive frailties have continued to be exposed by the Red Devils’ opponents.

Cole believes faith will be shown in De Gea, but the former striker admits that patience can only stretch so far.

He told Sky Sports: “I think David de Gea’s in a little bit of credit for his previous seasons at Manchester United. I know he always felt fresh every season - season in, season out - but he is in a bit of credit.

“I think it’s more what he doesn’t do - if he has a bit of a season like he did last season, I think Henderson will definitely get his opportunity.”

Henderson has been restricted to Carabao Cup outings in the current campaign, with the 23-year-old yet to make his Premier League bow for United.

He has kept clean in meetings with Luton and Brighton, with Solskjaer’s side easing past the Seagulls 3-0 on Wednesday to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Henderson caught the eye again when called upon in that contest, with one special save produced to keep out Leandro Trossard, and Cole believes the England hopeful will get his big break at some point.

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He added:  “I’m not going to be disrespectful to Sheffield United, but playing for Manchester United, you’ve always got to be on your toes.

“For 50-60 minutes you might not touch the ball, then all of a sudden you’ve got to produce a world-class save. Henderson’s done that so I think he's proven he is a very good goalkeeper and David de Gea’s going to have a battle to stay No 1.”

United will be back in top-flight action on Sunday in what will be their final outing before the next international break, with former boss Jose Mourinho set to take his Tottenham side to Old Trafford.