Manchester United’s Failure to Hear Benni McCarthy’s Warning on David de Gea’s Exit
During the summer transfer window, Manchester United overlooked an important piece of advice from their coach, Benni McCarthy, regarding the departure of David de Gea.
McCarthy had passionately asserted that it would be a grave error to let the Spanish goalkeeper leave Old Trafford at the conclusion of his contract.
After a remarkable 12-year stint at Manchester United, De Gea bid farewell to the club in July. He had amassed an impressive 545 appearances across all competitions but was unable to reach a final agreement on a new contract.
The exit of the veteran goalkeeper was surrounded by controversy. Reports from The Athletic indicated that De Gea had initially agreed to a new contract with significantly reduced terms.
However, United chose not to finalize the deal and later presented another proposal with an even lower salary.
De Gea ultimately declined to sign the latest offer, becoming a free agent. Subsequently, Manchester United secured Andre Onana as their new No. 1 goalkeeper a few weeks later.
Six weeks prior to De Gea’s departure, Benni McCarthy had publicly voiced his perspective on the situation. McCarthy, who was appointed as a first-team coach in July, had primarily focused on working with the attacking players.
Nevertheless, he maintained a watchful eye on the entire squad and shared his views on De Gea during an appearance on South African radio station 947 Joburg.
McCarthy’s sentiments in June were unequivocal: “He achieved 17 clean sheets in the league. While conceding is part of the game, winning the Golden Glove for yet another season is a remarkable feat.
The Premier League is known for its competitiveness, so occasional mistakes are inevitable.
However, this doesn’t diminish his standing as one of the finest goalkeepers I’ve ever encountered and collaborated with. His talent is simply extraordinary.
“I have the privilege of working with him every single day, affording me a deeper insight than most people who only see him on matchday.
When he makes a rare mistake, the critics can be harsh. But from my daily interaction, I can attest that he is an incredible individual—intelligent, dedicated, and one of the finest goalkeepers I’ve ever had the privilege of witnessing.
Losing a goalkeeper of David de Gea’s caliber would be a grievous mistake for Manchester United.”
Manchester United ultimately disregarded McCarthy’s counsel, and David de Gea has yet to secure a new club.
With Andre Onana facing challenges adapting to the Premier League, Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s manager, may now be pondering whether his decision to part ways with the long-serving Spaniard was indeed the right course of action.