The situation surrounding Anders Lindegaard’s future at Manchester United is a complex one. The big Dane has found first team action increasingly hard to come by in recent months with David De Gea in magnificent form.
Despite having a close relationship with De Gea, Lindegaard is a player who certainly doesn’t lack ambition or confidence so it came as no surprise when reports began to surface casting doubt over the players long term future.
The 28-year-old was quoted in the Daily Mirror saying: “For me at the moment it’s not an easy deal being on the bench when the team is performing as well as we do.
“And, of course, when David is also performing as well as he does and has been doing in the last couple of months.
“Of course, everybody wants to play and I’m not different from anyone else. I’m sure all the players who are not in the starting line-up every game would say the same and they want to play.
“That’s how football players are. It’s a genetic thing in us – we live for the thrill of playing and the adrenaline you get when you step out on the pitch.”
However, the waters were further muddied when Lindegaard took to Twitter to cool rumours over an impending exit from the club with Fulham and West Ham reportedly keen in securing the signature over the former Aalesunds man who United signed for £3.5 million in 2011.
Fictional conclusions on old interviews in today's newspapers. Subjective journalism as bad as it can be. #keepbelieving
— Anders Lindegaard (@ALindegaard) March 22, 2013
For me, this is one of the stranger transfer stories of late. One would assume the ambitious and motivated Lindegaard, who has previously stated he wasn’t at the club to “pick his nose” and wanted to challenge David De Gea for the jersey, would be raging after making just one first team appearance since the 4-3 victory over Reading.
Aside from the Reading game, Lindegaard has always appeared assured and confident and certainly a solid back-up goalkeeper, even enjoying a spell as first choice until he sustained a season ending ankle injury at the turn of last year. While he is certainly a reliable keeper, whether he has the star-quality of De Gea is doubtful.
From a United point of view, it would make little sense to sell Lindegaard as both Sam Johnstone and Ben Amos are still a way off the first team and reported target Asmir Begovic is unlikely to accept a role similar to Lindegaard if he does join the club in the summer while De Gea’s confidence is at an all-time high, so a move for the Stoke shot-stopper would risk disrupting the Spaniards fine run of performances.
The final say will probably rest with the 28-year-old as a move hinges on his career ambitions. A simple choice arises – does he stick around and fight a potentially losing battle with De Gea for a first-team slot, in the hope that De Gea eventually leaves for his homeland, or does he angle for a move away and forge a Tim Howard style post-United career, which there is no shame in.
As Lindegaard’s agent recently reiterated, he is focused on the present, but his future is ultimately undecided.
“We cannot predict the future and a lot can happen in football,” his representative stated.