‘People wonder why Henderson was kept around… it was to push David’: Darren Fletcher hails ‘fantastic’ De Gea as Spaniard returned to form in Manchester United’s Champions League win at PSG
De Gea, who after a tough few seasons is now under pressure from No 2 keeper Dean Henderson, made a number of crucial saves as United secured a vital three points versus last season’s runners-up in Paris.
Marcus Rashford was the hero after his late winner but Fletcher took note of Spanish international De Gea’s performance and emphasised the importance of the keeper in an impressive win at the Parc des Princes.
Ex-Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher praised David de Gea’s performance
De Gea’s early contribution was vital for Manchester United in Paris on Tuesday night
The Spanish goalkeeper looked assured as United beat last season’s runners-up late on
‘People wonder why [Dean] Henderson was kept around, and it was to push David [De Gea],’ Fletcher told BT Sport after the game.
‘[Sergio] Romero was always happy to be number two. His performance tonight was fantastic. Dean Henderson is a threat but he has a lot to learn.’
Henderson spent the last two seasons out on loan at Sheffield United but signed a new long-term deal in the summer at Old Trafford, with De Gea’s spot in the starting XI seemingly under threat from the 23-year-old English keeper.
But De Gea, 29, who has been with the club since 2011, has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice keeper in the Premier League so far this season – and consolidated his place further with an excellent display on Tuesday.
Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand praised Solskjaer for sticking by his man so far this season.
‘He [David de Gea] had a period where he was making mistakes, it wasn’t just one game,’ Ferdinand said.
De Gea produced a number of crucial saves in United’s Champions League opening match
‘But Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] backed him, so Ole deserves credit too.’
Bruno Fernandes, captaining his club for the first time, had given United the lead in the first-half following a re-taken penalty, but PSG – last season’s runners-up – equalised after Anthony Martial headed into his own net from a corner in the 55th minute.
But amid an open finale to the contest, Rashford converted brilliantly into the corner to clinch the win and three points for Solskjaer’s side in their Champions League opener.