David de Gea may appear surplus to requirements for Spain but he remains pivotal to Erik ten Hag’s plans at Manchester United. The goalkeeper was outstanding in United’s 1-0 win against West Ham at Old Trafford on Sunday, producing three spectacular saves to provide the perfect response to reports in Spain that he has been cut from his nation’s World Cup squad.On a day when Marcus Rashford scored his 100th goal for United, it was De Gea who ensured the victory that moves Ten Hag’s team up to fifth in the Premier League. “You don’t be Manchester United’s No. 1 for that length of time if you’re not a fantastic goalkeeper,” West Ham manager David Moyes said. “He made two brilliant saves today for them and probably saved them from that point of view but it’s disappointing for us that we didn’t score because we put them under enough pressure.”
De Gea denied Michail Antonio, Kurt Zouma and Declan Rice after a late onslaught from West Ham. They were the type of heroics United has become accustomed to over his 11 years at the club, with his shot-stopping capabilities never in question. But there have been questions over his ability to play out from the back with his feet, which has increasingly become a requirement for modern ‘keepers.