International roundup: David de Gea secures clean sheet, Ander Herrera left on bench

by Leo Nieboer

David de Gea picked up a clean sheet for Spain in their 0-2 win over Albania on Sunday night, whilst Ander Herrera failed to make it off the bench for La Roja.

Making his 16th international start, De Gea was an assured, reliable presence between the sticks, distributing the ball with precision all evening.

Herrera, on the other hand, will have to wait for his first appearance in a Spain shirt after being left on the bench by Julen Lopetegui in Shkodër.

Both Spaniards will now return to Carrington ahead of Manchester United’s crucial game with Liverpool on October 17.

Herrera, who received his first ever international call-up after Bayern Munich’s Javi Martinez picked up an injury, will be undoubtedly disappointed over failing to clock up any minutes for the national side. With ten minutes to go, Spain were in cruise mode, happily shifting the ball around a knackered Albania side. This, I thought, was the ideal time to hand Herrera his first appearance, but Lopetegui decided to throw on Isco instead.

However, with the next international break just a month away, Herrera will be determined to keep his place in the national side. That said, the Spaniard will be aware of international football’s inherently fluctuating nature, and will need to maintain his excellent club form over the next few weeks.

De Gea, on the other hand, finds himself in a wonderfully strong position; the 25-year-old is Spain’s established No.1, and it’s hard to envisage anybody taking his place in the foreseeable future.

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