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David De Gea 'Open To Learn And Adapt’ Under Erik Ten Hag After Criticism Last Season

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David De Gea 'Open To Learn And Adapt’ Under Erik Ten Hag After Criticism Last Season

David De Gea will be open to learning and adapting to incoming manager Erik ten Hag’s passing orientated possession style of play.

That’s according to The Athletic’s Pol Ballus who claims that those close to the Spaniard are certain he can adapt to the Dutchman’s modern style of play.

Despite winning the players player of the year award for Manchester United, De Gea has come under fire for his perceived poor distribution this season. 

According to FBref, the Spaniard has completed just 47% of his attempted long passes this season.

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When comparing that to the top keepers in the Premier League, Ederson from Manchester City completes 72 and Liverpool’s Alisson 66%, which doesn’t make for good reading.

Alisson
Alisson

There is a perceived clash of styles, with Ten Hag wanting to lead with a passing orientated style of football, something that De Gea and indeed United’s playing squad may well not be used to.

According to the same report by Ballus, those who have worked with or played under Ten Hag have underlined his obsession with precise passing.

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With the Dutchman's meticulous management style extending to the youth team set-up, where he could be heard issuing instructions and encouragement that he would usually give to the first team players, suggesting a more streamlined approach throughout the club.

The report claims further that De Gea has been ‘disheartened’ in the past by some of the goalkeeper training at United.

In particular, when high-profile coaches have arrived and had little impact in terms of helping him lift his game to the next level.

David de Gea and Frans Hoek. (Alamy)
David de Gea and Frans Hoek. (Alamy)
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Andre Onana excelled under Ten Hag during his time in the Dutch capital, due to the Cameroonian’s ability on the ball.

As well as this, Matthijs De Ligt and Jurrien Timber have also been lynchpins in Ten Hag’s teams, due to their elite abilities with the ball.

De Gea’s abilities with the ball at his feet has been questioned in the past, with Dean Henderson threatening to take De Gea’s spot in the first team.

The Englishman showed his quality when he was drafted into the first team in the 2020/2021 season, with his presence in the box and indeed out of the box with his sweeping abilities on show for all to see.

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With rumours of Henderson going on loan to Nottingham Forest ramping up, United are reportedly looking for a straight loan with no buy option.

David de Gea and Dean Henderson have battled for the Manchester United No.1 spot. (Alamy)
David de Gea and Dean Henderson have battled for the Manchester United No.1 spot. (Alamy)

They might believe he has a future in the first team with De Gea's contract having just a year to run, the Englishman may feel if he bides his time, he may have a chance under the Dutchman’s tutelage.

Nevertheless, it seems that De Gea will be the number one next season, but the Spaniard will need to adapt if he is to fit into Erik ten Hag’s team going forward.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, David De Gea, Football, Premier League, Erik Ten Hag

Shaun Webbley
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