David de Gea’s future at Manchester United may hinge on Champions League qualification

by Sam Peoples

David de Gea staying at Manchester United for another year was one of the biggest victories of the summer transfer window anywhere in football.

Once again this season, De Gea’s incredible performances in goal for Man United have dragged us further up the table than we should be and all too often we’ve found ourselves reliant on Spanish Dave to save our bacon.

However, as Andy Mitten correctly points out in his latest column for ESPN, an underlying fear surrounding De Gea’s future now envelopes the fans.

He wrote: “…That said, luck evens itself out. Luck meant United kept David De Gea, one of the bright spots in the team, this season. Every team has at least some positives.

“De Gea’s a magnificent goalkeeper with the best distribution of any United stopper. Even though he missed the first chunk of the season, he’s already kept 13 clean sheets. He must be wondering how much more of his career he’s prepared to waste at a club that doesn’t come close to competing with the best.

“And while the transfer obsessed hoover up stories linking United with the world’s best players, which of them are going to want to join a club not in the Champions League?”

It’s a completely fair question – why would he want to waste anymore time waiting for United to rebuild itself? He’s been our best player for two consecutive seasons and looks odds on to be named it for an unprecedented third year in a trot. A goalkeeper being named United’s best player for three years in a row says it all really.

We’ve got De Gea tied down to a long-term contract so there are now no concerns over getting a fair price for him but the absolute last thing United want is to lose him, but we’re making it very easy for him to make a decision over his future – especially if we don’t qualify for the Champions League.

If we find ourselves finishing outside the top four this season, I think we can kiss goodbye to any small slither of hope we had of keeping De Gea. So not only is qualifying for that tournament essential for us in terms of competition, it could be one deciding factor in whether De Gea chooses to leave this summer.

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