The surprise inclusion in Spain's under-21 squad for Euros

David De Gea Spain

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has only been deemed good enough for Spain’s Under-21 side.

He will head off to the tournament in Israel as Spain’s number one at that level, but it’s surprising he’s not being given a chance for the senior the side in friendly matches against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

De Gea was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the Premier League after a fine season for United, which has seen him transform his form to become the undoubted number one at Old Trafford.

De Gea was challenged through the early part of the season and even dropped for making mistakes, but he’s responded superbly to finish with a record of just 26 goals conceded based on 28 Premier League starts.

Criticism of his physique and lack of command around the penalty area has been superbly dealt with, leaving him looking more and more like an assured Premier League shot stopper.

The fact the matches Spain are facing are just friendly games makes it surprising that De Gea is not being given a chance because they are not as important as World Cup qualifiers or tournament games for the senior side.

Is he good enough for the Spanish senior side? Certainly, he definitely deserves to be ahead of Iker Casillas in the pecking order because the Real Madrid man has been sitting on the bench for the last few months.

It’s also arguable that he’s been tested more vigorously than Victor Valdes at Barcelona, who seems to have one eye on his next move after announcing that he won’t be signing a new deal with the Spanish giants.

The only possible reason for his senior side snub has to be the reason that the powers of Spanish football see the Under-21 tournament in Israel as more important than the friendly matches against both parts of Ireland.

That goes to show the difference in philosophy between Spain and other nations, because plenty of other countries would demand that De Gea make himself available for the senior side in a pointless friendly over any Under-21 competition.

It’s also going to be a little bit of a worry and issue for David Moyes because there is always the risk, especially with goalkeepers, that problematic injuries could be picked up.

De Gea is a goalkeeper so he’s subjected to the ball and various physical challenges throughout a game. It’s time to ironically cross the fingers and hope that he doesn’t end up breaking any of his own.

If he was in the senior squad then he’d only play a maximum of two games but now he’s in the Under-21 squad, he could be subjected to a very long tournament, especially as Spain are one of the favourites to win in Israel.

He’ll be the Spanish senior number one at some point, it’s just a surprise he’s not getting more of a chance at the top level.

Are you surprised to see De Gea back at Under-21 level?

image: © 3oheme

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