Andy Cole has insisted that David De Gea must go straight back into Manchester United’s starting XI.
The Spaniard’s proposed move to Real Madrid fell through on Monday night, leaving the goalkeeper at Old Trafford for another season at least.
It remains unclear as to whether Louis van Gaal will instantly throw De Gea back into the starting lineup; the goalkeeper evidently wants to be elsewhere, and after being within touching distance of a Madrid move, question marks loom over the Spaniard’s commitment to the cause at Man United.
In spite of this, Cole believes that De Gea should feature for the first-team immediately after the international break.
“I know David and know a lot of people who know him too. I’ve never heard any of them say a bad word against him. He’s not greedy or snide, nor argumentative or unprofessional.
‘He never said that he didn’t want to play for Manchester United – it’s all good,” said Cole in his Eurosport column.
“He’s no good to United as a number two or playing in the Under-21s. Get him in the team because United need him. I’m sure he’ll be fine in playing for the club again.
“He’s one of the best two goalkeepers in the world and that’s the bottom line. If you want to win football matches then you want him in your team.”
The transfer window has shut, but the De Gea saga remains murky. After being so close to his dream move to Madrid, returning to work under a manager he evidently dislikes might lead to an unsavoury conclusion.
But with the news that De Gea is keen on signing a contract with United, along with the incentive provided by the European Championships next summer, supporters can be confident of seeing the 24-year-old throwing himself back into the challenge at Old Trafford with the same fervour as ever.