Valdes signed an 18-month deal with the Red Devils having been a free agent since leaving Barcelona and although Van Gaal has confirmed Valdes is United’s no.2, Van der Gouw believes it could impact on De Gea’s future.
“It’s always good to have two good keepers at the club,” the Dutchman told BBC World Service Sport.
“But it is possible it could speed up the exit (De Gea) if the relationship didn’t work.
“I was a bit surprised they signed Valdes though. De Gea is a fantastic keeper.”
Van der Gouw was at United for six years between 1996 and 2002 but only made a total of 37 appearances, so is well aware of what it takes to be an understudy goalkeeper at the club.
In a week where the future of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao was under scrutiny, Van der Gouw suggests that some players may have a problem with current manager Van Gaal.
“Van Gaal does have a personality and a plan,” he added.
“If you are not in his plan it can be difficult. He sees no one bigger than the team and no one bigger than the club.
“You must stick with him and not fall out. I have seen it before with van Gaal that some players have difficulty with that.“
A man driven by his principles and philosophy, you can understand why people clash with Van Gaal. After all, he is not a manager who stays at any single club for too long.
As for Valdes, there’s no doubt he is United’s no.2 at the moment but it will be interesting to see how his relationship with De Gea develops as the season goes on.
Quotes provided by BBC’s Shamoon Hafez.