Louis van Gaal has been handed his first Manchester United injury problem following the news that David De Gea’s World Cup hangs in the balance.
United’s number one has a muscular problem, which will reportedly keep him out of action for at least the next ten days, providing Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque with a problem ahead of his side’s last two World Cup games.
Real Madrid shot stopper Iker Casillas was unconvincing in Spain’s heavy 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands, which has created speculation that De Gea could have stepped in for the remainder of the tournament.
If Del Bosque is thinking about getting De Gea into the team, he could play Russian Roulette with De Gea’s fitness which could have negative consequences for United and van Gaal.
De Gea was one of United’s only consistent players last season and one of the only individuals void from criticism in an otherwise frustrating Premier League campaign for the former domestic champions.
The problem is De Gea’s injury is only a muscular strain rather than a full blown tear, which suggests that Del Bosque may be willing to take a risk with him when he’s fit should Spain still be in the competition.
Scans yesterday revealed the strain, but if De Gea plays in the second round and beyond, his leg muscle will be put under extra pressure which could ultimately result in a tear.
A tear means a far longer period for recovery and would give LvG a big headache heading into the new season.
A tear could also mean surgery is required which would put a huge question mark above De Gea’s ability to be fit for the new Premier League season.
Fortunately for United, a Liverpool star could do them a favour in the whole affair with Pepe Reina the other ‘keeper in the squad.
Reina means Del Bosque doesn’t have to take that risk with De Gea if he’s thinking about making a change and dropping Casillas, but the temptation is there with plenty describing De Gea as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.