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Man United might have identified their perfect de Gea replacement in talented No.1 who made 20 clean-sheet last season

Manchester United could be looking for a new goalkeeper next summer as Erik ten Hag attempts to finally solve the problem position.


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Erik ten Hag faces a number of critical decisions. With steady progress on the pitch, his new-look side is starting to take shape, but he still has some critical decisions to make that will determine how successful he becomes.

With so much change this summer, he put several major decisions on hold. Despite his wish to go, Harry Maguire remained the club captain, David de Gea the first choice in goal, and Cristiano Ronaldo remained at the club.

All three of those issues will almost certainly need to be addressed next summer. Maguire is no longer a regular starter, De Gea is still a square peg in a round hole, and Ronaldo is slated to leave when his contract runs out.

A new captain must be sought from within, and a new striker must be recruited on the transfer market. However, Ten Hag may already know who he wants to replace De Gea in goal.

When talk of a new goalkeeper arises, many people question Dean Henderson’s suitability for the position. However, the England goalkeeper may have burned his bridges with inflammatory statements when he left, and aside from that, his subsequent performances on loan at Nottingham Forest have hardly set the world on fire.

If United want to be the greatest, they need a goalkeeper who not only fits Ten Hag’s vision but who can compete with his league competitors, setting a new standard for the modern goalie.

Making saves is still the true measure of a goalkeeper’s ability, but at the highest level, the role has evolved, and for a team like United that aspires to play out from the back, their No.1 must be a conductor to the attacking orchestra, someone as comfortable with their feet as they are with their hands.

De Gea showed some signs of improvement in his most recent performance last weekend against Everton, but he is still not a confident sweeper keeper, and it is difficult to see him ever adapting enough for the role his manager desires. The Spaniard has already given United 11 years of service, and by next summer, the emphasis must be on bringing in a young goalkeeper capable of dominating the position for the next decade.

Many Manchester United fans want to recruit Diogo Costa, the teenage goalkeeper who has made headlines this season for his performances at Porto. The 23-year-old checks all the boxes for the archetypal modern goalkeeper and stole the show in his team’s 3-0 Champions League win over Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

It was a show that had a little bit of everything. Not only did the young Portuguese goalkeeper retain a clean sheet, but he also saved a penalty and assisted on the first goal. It was essentially the goalkeeping equivalent of a hat trick.

Sure, Galeno had a lot to do when he latched onto Costa’s superbly weighted pass to amplify it into an assist, but even without the goal contribution, the Porto goalkeeper displayed how at ease he is with his feet, so often beginning moves with his delivery from the back.

Costa completed 17 long balls and had 54 touches of the ball during the game, demonstrating his teammates’ faith in his ball-playing talents. His penalty save against Kerem Demirbay, one of four he made during the game, was as spectacular.

Costa’s contract reportedly has a £51 million release clause, which would make him the third-most expensive goalkeeper in history if activated next year. Though that would be a small price to pay if he could match the longevity of the man he may potentially replace in the Old Trafford goal.

With seven international call-ups already under his belt, the Swiss-born Portugal international seemed destined for greatness, and his stock might grow even further if he impresses at the World Cup later this year.

United may lose the poster boy for Portuguese football next summer, but they may potentially sign a future star.

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