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Sources: De Gea still faces GK battle at United

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Published in Soccer
Monday, 20 September 2021 06:38

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not tell David De Gea he is Manchester United No. 1 despite his dramatic penalty save against West Ham United and expects Dean Henderson to challenge for the job once he regains full fitness, sources have told ESPN.

De Gea has started the season in good form and earned United victory at the London Stadium on Sunday with a stoppage-time penalty save from Mark Noble.

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Solskjaer has been impressed with De Gea's application in training after the Spain international chose to return early following the European Championship but sources have told ESPN that Henderson has also been given encouragement the gloves remain up for grabs.

Solskjaer has been urged by pundits including Gary Neville to settle on a first-choice goalkeeper since Henderson's return to the club at the beginning of last season but sources have told ESPN the Norwegian believes the competition is beneficial to both players.

He is expecting to play between 50 and 60 games this season and has told De Gea, Henderson and Tom Heaton they will all play a role.

De Gea is set to sit out Wednesday's Carabao Cup tie with West Ham at Old Trafford with either Henderson or Heaton taking over.

Henderson has returned to training after recovering from COVID-19 and has twice played for the Under-23s as he builds up his match fitness.

He made 26 appearances last season, including 13 in the Premier League. The 24-year-old was named in the England squad for the Euros but was forced to withdraw with a thigh problem.

The injury did not require surgery and Henderson expected to play a full part in pre-season only to test positive for COVID-19 in July.

Solskjaer is set to make a host of changes for West Ham's visit in the Carabao Cup third round.

The United boss has already revealed Jesse Lingard, whose late goal earned a 2-1 win at the London Stadium, will start while Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga and Anthony Martial are also in contention.

Victor Lindelof is a doubt after he missed the win over West Ham. The Sweden defender played 90 minutes in the Champions League defeat to Young Boys but was absent from the squad on Sunday.

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