Manchester United failed to listen to the advice of Benni McCarthy in the summer when they allowed David de Gea to leave the club. The Red Devils coach previously claimed it would be “a crime” if the Spaniard left Old Trafford at the end of his contract.
De Gea’s 12-year spell at United came to an end in July. After making 545 appearances in all competitions, he was unable to come to a final agreement on a new contract.
Controversy surrounded his exit, however, with The Athletic claiming De Gea had put pen to paper on a new deal on heavily reduced terms. But United did not sign the contract and then backtracked, instead offering another new proposal with an even lower salary.
De Gea decided against signing the latest offer and became a free agent. United signed Andre Onana a couple of weeks later to become their new No 1.
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Six weeks earlier, McCarthy had made public his thoughts on De Gea’s situation. McCarthy was appointed as a first-team coach last July and has mainly worked close to the attackers.
But the former Blackburn star also kept an eye on the rest of the squad. He spoke on South African radio station 947 Joburg to explain his opinion on De Gea, outlining that there was no way United should allow him to leave.
McCarthy said in June: “He kept 17 clean sheets in the league. Yes, of course, you’re going to concede, but to win the Golden Glove for yet another season is remarkable.
“You see how difficult the league is so I understand that everyone has a bad game here and there, but it doesn’t stop him from being one of the best goalkeepers I’ve seen and I’ve worked with. He is unbelievable.
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“I work with him every single day and I get to see first-hand more than what most people get to do. You only see him on a Saturday or on a matchday, and if you see him make a mistake the critics hit the roof.
“But I get to spend every single day with him and he is an unbelievable guy, a great lad, very intelligent and one of the best goalkeepers I have seen. It would be a crime if Man United lose a goalkeeper like David de Gea.”
United didn’t heed McCarthy’s advice and De Gea is still yet to find a new club. But after a difficult start to life in the Premier League for Onana, Ten Hag may be questioning whether he made the right decision to ditch the long-serving Spaniard.
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