Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fears That Reds Can't Keep Hold of De Gea

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fears That Reds Can't Keep Hold of De Gea

Article excerpt

FORGET Paul Pogba for just a moment. This night was all about David de Gea.

And while Jose Mourinho's relationship with his £89m midfielder looks increasingly uncertain, United's big concern could be just how long De Gea is prepared to put up with occasions like this? If the pre-match talk was dominated by Pogba - dropped for the second time in less than a month - it was another night when United's No.1 emphasised his importance to the club.

If not for his stunning reflex save to deny Luis Muriel just before half-time, Sevilla would have been heading to Old Trafford next month with the first leg lead their dominance deserved.

That the Spaniard has only played in one Champions League quarter-final in the five years since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure is criminal, and must surely play on his mind.

A goalkeeper of his standards belongs on this stage at the very least.

And when he does get the opportunity, he deserves more than United provided at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

That by 65 minutes Sevilla had racked up 20 shots compared to United's three summed up the performance from Mourinho's side. They head back to Old Trafford with a precarious 0-0 draw - susceptible to the away goal.

How different would life be for De Gea had that move to Real Madrid in 2015 not fallen through at the last minute? He'd probably have two Champions League winners' medals for a start. On the basis of this joyless night in Seville, his wait for one of those medals is set to go on for at least another year.

How long he is prepared to accept that remains to be seen.

He remains United's most consistent performer - their truly world-class talent. But how he and United fans would have wished an Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku or Pogba could have seized the occasion.

Pogba's absence threatened to overshadow the night and will continue to be debated after Mourinho opted to name a midfield desperately lacking in creativity in Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Ander Herrera. …

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