Manchester United keepers will push each other – says Edwin van der Sar
Manchester United’s legend, Edwin van der Sar, has given his thoughts on club’s current goalkeeping situation, and feels the high quality in the clubs ranks will help maintain standards this season.
United’s former No.1, who played 266 times for the Reds, knows a thing or two about being a top stopper. During his six years at Old Trafford, the Dutchman helped the club to win 10 trophies, including four Premier League titles and, in an unforgettable 2008 final in Moscow, the UEFA Champions League.
Edwin also understands the need for competition between the sticks, and feels a bit of friendly rivalry between David De Gea, Dean Henderson, Sergio Romero and Lee Grant will benefit the team in the months to come.
“That’s what it’s always been about,” said van der Sar on competition for places, when asked about it during Wednesday’s episode of MUTV Group Chat.
“When you’re a young player, you look up to the guys who are in the first team. Then when you start training [with them] you start to challenge and start to work hard so you’re ready when that moment comes.
“When you get that chance you need to grab it. Some boys are lucky in that you might win, score or give an assist, or you might be unfortunate and lose a game and then the manager might think it’s difficult to bring you in another time.”
Edwin left United in 2011, when he announced his retirement from the professional game, and he was replaced at Old Trafford by a young man named David De Gea.
Of course, in the intervening years the Spanish keeper has established himself as one of the best in world football, something van der Sar was keen to highlight.
However, the Dutchman has also been impressed with Henderson, who returned to the club this summer after two outstanding years on loan at Sheffield United.
“Of course David has been fantastic,“ commented Edwin. ”The moment he took over [from me] he has the Player of the Year [Award] many times and he’s been amazing for the club.
“Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] will take a look at how the competition in the team is and which goalkeeper works best with the defence.
“To be fair, I was quite impressed with Dean’s rise with Sheffield, but David has been great for United. He has made some mistakes but I’ve made them myself also, every player makes mistakes.
“It’s about the moment in which you make them – are they at 0-0? Is your team bailing you out? Could a striker score an injury-time goal so the mistake you made goes into the background?
“I’m sure that David will be the force that he has been for the club and hopefully now with the investment in the right players that are coming in, it’s looking more and more like a competitive squad again to challenge for the honours. I’m sure that those two will push each other to a high level.”